Have you ever wondered if you are really in control of your life? Or could it be that someone or something has been placed in front of a computer somewhere and is pushing buttons and sending messages to your brain? What really influences our daily decisions: friends, family, God, the government perhaps, or a dog? These are the questions Dr. Anthony Harding begins to ask himself shortly after arriving in San Diego. He's convinced that the only way his two daughters will ever overcome their mother's death and the stigma of her alcoholism and drug addiction and the only way to repair his own status as a dead-beat dad is to jump on a job offer that will move them as far away from Chicago's south side as possible. His expectations doesn't include being attracted to a pint-sized independent neighbor from Louisiana whose best friend seems to be a miniature chocolate poodle that appears to have a talent for making unusual things happen.