: My name is Chance. I know it sounds odd, but most names do if you think about 'em long enough, maybe even yours. I was abandoned when I was very young. I lived on the streets, scrounging for food, sleeping wherever I could. That seemed like fun at first, but pretty soon it landed me behind bars. But I don't like to talk about that. Let's talk about after that, when I got my second chance... And my name. You see, this family came along... And, I guess you could say they rescued me, 'cause they adopted me and brought me to live with them at their house. But it was their home, not mine. Still, it sure was an improvement over, well, over that other place. Lots of space, fresh air, plenty of interesting things to explore... And all the underwear I could eat.
: Indeed, the house was full of new clothes to be shredded... on account of the family was growing. You see, Bob was joining the family by marrying Laura. Her little girl was Hope. Hope belonged to Sassy.
The little boy, Jamie, was supposed to belong to me, but I didn't need anyone else. I was a loner. (As Jamie pranks Hope) Still, I had to admit it, he did have a lot of very good ideas. He was the one who named me Chance. Laura's older boy was Peter. He belonged to Shadow. Shadow was faithful. Shadow was loyal. Shadow was a chump. He just sat down there while I had all the fun upstairs.
: I learned an important lesson that day. Cake and polyester don't mix.
You know, I was actually starting to like doing things with the whole family. They weren't so bad, for people. Shadow, and even Sassy, seemed happy. I was beginning to think that maybe this time... with this family, things were gonna be different, better.
: And so began the most amazing journey of our lives.
Chance (voiceover, referring to Shadow)
: There was more to that old boy than I gave him credit for; I was soon to discover just how much more. But even in that moment, I had to admire his faith, wherever it might lead us.
Shadow (after Sassy has gone over the falls): I shouldn't have made her come.
Chance: But it wasn't your fault. She wanted to come.
Shadow: But it's my responsibility. I had a responsibility to Sassy- to love her and protect her- the same as I have to you... and to Peter. And the same as you have to Jamie.
Chance: But - we didn't ask for this job.
Shadow: We didn't have to. It's built in. Has been ever since the dawn of time... when a few wild dogs took it upon themselves to watch over man... to bark when he's in danger... to run and play with him when he's happy... to nuzzle him when he's lonely. That's why they call us man's best friend.
: Looking at him that night...he seemed so wise and ancient, like the first dog that ever walked the earth. And I just hoped that, one day, I could be like him.
: Shadow and Sassy had risked their lives for me. I'd never known what it was like to have friends like that. The feeling was altogether new and strange to me. I liked it.
: Even now I don't really know how he did it. But there we were, finally... looking down at the road that would lead us home.
Peter (after the other pets have returned): Come on, Shadow. (pause, nothing happens) He was old. It was too far. He was just too old.
Laura: Oh, Peter, honey...
Peter turns around and heads for the house. Then Shadow comes limping up the hill.
Peter turns and sees him.
Peter (beginning to run): Shadow!
Shadow (breaking into a run): Oh, Peter, I worried about you so.
Shadow: Peter, you're okay! Peter! I'm so happy. I thought about you all the time.
Peter: Missed you!
Chance (voiceover, directly after the above dialogue): It was Shadow's victory, really. His belief was the thing that got us through. And as I watched, I saw the years roll back from him. He was a puppy again, reunited with his best friend. As we turned to go inside the house...a strange new feeling came over me. I had a family and I had found out that sacrifice...and friendship and even love... were more than just the mushy stuff.
Jamie: Come on, Chance, come inside!