Little Ricky Gets a Puppy begins with morning in the Ricardo household, as Lucy is taking care of Little Ricky’s menagerie of pets, including birds, frogs and goldfish — using Ethel’s hairnet in the process of moving the goldfish to a different container. Ethel mentions a new tenant, the grouchy Mr. Stewart, and leaves for the market. Little Ricky soon comes home with another little pet – an adorable puppy.
Lucy tries to call the mother of Little Ricky’s friend return the puppy, but the puppy begins licking Lucy’s face, and she melts. When Ricky comes home, Lucy informs him of the new addition, and Ricky decides to be firm and have a talk with Little Ricky. Afterward, Ricky has melted as well.
The Mertzes come in with bad news — they can’t have pets in the apartment. At that moment, Little Ricky comes out with his little puppy that he’s named Fred — “I always name my pets after people I like!” Fred departs, to find a box for the little dog to sleep in — at the Ricardos apartment.
Come night, however, the little dog begins barking, with Lucy getting up at 3:00 a.m. — the dog is bothering not only the Ricardos, but the entire apartment building. Lucy tries to get the puppy to sleep, but her singing only makes it worse. She then comes upon the idea of putting a ticking alarm clock by the puppy, which works … until the alarm goes off! Landlords Fred and Ethel come, with the news that Mr. Stewart is threatening to move, and the puppy has to go!
Ricky and Lucy each decide that the other should be the one to tell Little Ricky in the morning — with the rule that the first one to see him will break the bad news to him. Come morning, Ricky thinks that he’s woken up first, and tries to sneak out — after arranging the pillows on his bed to make it look as though he’s still sleeping. While he goes into the bathroom to get dressed, however, a fully-dressed Lucy comes in, having beaten him to the punch, and sneaks out to the kitchen. When Ricky sneaks out the door, Lucy follows immediately after, and they both accuse each other — since they’re both guilty.
Ricky decides that, as the head of the household, he will have to tell Little Ricky — and tells him that his mother has something important to tell him, as the cowardly Ricky dashes out the door! Lucy starts to tell him, but decides to postpone it until after breakfast. Later, Lucy, Little Ricky and the puppy are playing in the living room when the grumpy Mr. Stewart demands to come in and make sure that there’s no dog — and Lucy stashes the puppy in the closet inside of a Mexican hat. Lucy eludes the question from Mr. Stewart, Fred, and Ricky when he comes home … as the puppy-propelled hat comes out of the closet. Lucy tries to pass it off as part of a hat dancing routine, and hides the puppy in the piano, where he’s running on the strings. Lucy tries to cover for him, until the puppy starts barking.
The grumpy Mr. Stewart puts forth the ultimatum that the dog goes, or he does — and Fred Mertz uncharacteristically chooses his grandson’s happiness over money, and tells Mr. Stewart to go, since the dog is staying!
Funny quotes from Little Ricky Gets a Puppy
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): [after her singing has made the puppy howl] Okay, I’m no Dinah Shore … but you’re no Lassie either!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): You have to get up awful early in the morning to sneak out of this apartment!