Based on the Newberry Award-winning novel by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, this heartwarming tale of a boy and his dog reaches for greater significance and depth than the typical entry in the kids' movie genre. Blake Heron stars as Marty Preston, a kid who lives in a rural town with his mom and mailman dad (Michael Moriarty).
One day, Marty finds an injured beagle that's run away from its abusive owner, a hunter named Judd Travers (Scott Wilson). Kindly neighbor Doc Wallace (Rod Steiger) tends to the dog's wounds, but Marty's father explains that they must return the beagle to its rightful owner. Travers continues to abuse the dog, and it runs away again, returning to Marty.
The boy, who has named the puppy Shiloh, attempts to hide the animal from his family in the woods, but a scrap with another stray dog leaves Shiloh hurt and in need of medical assistance once again. Now Marty's in deep trouble with his dad, until he comes up with a plan to buy Shiloh from the nocuous Travers.
Shiloh inspired a sequel, Shiloh 2: Shiloh Season (1999).