Though psychiatrist Dr. Brendan McCarthy is blind, he sees himself clearly in a young patient named Antwone - a marine recently disabled in combat. Antwone should be celebrating his "Alive Day," the day he narrowly escaped certain death in combat, but he's depressed - nearly suicidal. Dr. McCarthy can relate - he too thought he'd lost everything when he lost his sight in a mountain climbing accident years ago. Dr. McCarthy determines he'll do whatever it takes to rescue the young marine from despair. But ultimately it's McCarthy's big-hearted and courageous black Labrador, Nelson, who teaches both Antwone and McCarthy the real meaning of life after near-death.