Ash and his friends are saved from a sudden rainstorm when Monica, a housekeeper, invites them to stay at Mr. Backlot's mansion. Old Mr. Backlot is a wealthy man who's turned the area into a Trophy Garden for his Pokémon—and people who love to see his Pokémon! Mr. Backlot's Cleffa, Pichu, and Azurill join everyone for a delicious Poffin snack, which attracts a wild Swinub that gobbles up the food. Mr. Backlot laughs it off and invites everyone to dinner, but Team Rocket has secretly spied on the entire scene and crossed Swinub off the target list. The rest of Mr. Backlot's Pokémon are a different story, of course.
Dawn uses the mansion's kitchen to cook up more Poffin, which Swinub seems to like. The next day, she brings out even more Poffin for Swinub and all the Pokémon to eat while enjoying the garden, but then Team Rocket swoops in with a new giant flying machine that steals all of Mr. Backlot's food and everyone's Pokémon to boot! Dawn manages to jump onto Team Rocket's machine and get inside while it makes its escape. As she tries to rescue Piplup and the other Pokémon, Swinub runs off to eat Team Rocket's stolen food. Seeing this, Team Rocket promptly ejects Dawn and Swinub in mid-air to protect the delicious loot.
Dawn manages to get Swinub to track Team Rocket's ship for her. When she catches up to the crooks, Team Rocket tries to attack but Swinub uses Ice Shard to stop James' Carnivine and Jessie's Yanmega. Swinub then saves the day a second time by breaking open the ship so all the Pokémon can escape. Dawn has the situation well in hand, but Ash and the others catch up just in time to help her send Team Rocket on their way. Mr. Backlot is delighted that his Pokémon are safe again, and Dawn asks Swinub if it wants to come with her. Swinub agrees, so now Dawn has a new Pokémon friend!