A little boy shows a picture of himself, then talks about how his father told him that a dog named Bartholomew would make a good watch dog. The boy mentions that Bartholomew could bark good and that he never chased cats, instead they chased him. Even the family cat was abusive toward Bartholomew, chasing him and greedily devouring his food. He was very lovable and he did tricks but gets upstaged by the cat who abuses him.
The narrator talks about how Bartholomew was a good dog, but then mentions how one day he got his tail accidentally run over by a boy's scooter. This led him to be furious, and he chased after the boy's scooter, attempting to bite the rear wheel off, causing the boy to cry in the process. This incident also lead him to despising anything that was a wheel.
The narrator then mentions that when he was little he would take little wheels, but when he got bigger he took big wheels. Not just from bikes, roller skates and scooters, but from cars as well, and even trucks with the exception of the Dog Catcher's truck since the narrator said that he might have been mixed up but he wasn't dumb.
The narrator mentions that there had been one kind of wheel that Bartholomew hadn't caught, and that it was hard to catch. It was a tire of a airplane located in the airport, where an airplane is about to take off. Bartholomew proceeds to enter the runway to chase after the airplane, only for it take fly off. Bartholomew doesn't give up, and finally catches the airplane's wheel and is lifted into the airplane's wheel well.
The narrator in the meantime notices that Bartholomew is gone. He attempts to call him over and over again, but gets no response. He gets help from everyone in the neighborhood, but not even the dog catcher Mr. Wembley knows where he is, even though an angry mob tried to assault him.
Meanwhile Bartholomew, after landing at the airport and seeing crates of CARE packages being unloaded from the aircraft, is in the Sahara desert somewhere near the Arabian Peninsula. He is lost and confused especially after he was rudely greeted by one of the local natives, when he spots a harem of purple female dogs being led by another dog. He attempts to follow them, but the lead dog wearing a turban growls angrily at him. The narrator mentions how none of the people there petted him, and there not even a wheel to chase since the transportation used by the local natives were camels and elephants, and how most of the people there didn't wear clothes.
One day Bartholomew was very sad. He found a travel agency in the village and stopped to look at the picture. It was a tourism poster inviting travelers to visit the USA, and Bartholomew remembers about how he chased and grabbed the big wheel and what got him in the Sahara desert in the first place. He decides to go back on the airplane, in hopes of getting home running over a man carrying water buckets and resulting in the man screaming and cursing in his native language but looking at awe as the plane took off.. He manages to get home via train and everybody celebrates his return. At the end Bartholomew learned his lesson about chasing wheels and learns to loves wheels of all sizes and doesn't hate anything, except what a dog is supposed to hate, which naturally are cats, including the cat who abused him as a puppy.
- This was the second cartoon to use Chuck Jones' abstract WB opening and closing credits from "Now Hear This".
- With only 5 minutes and 7 seconds of footage (not counting the credits and cards), "Bartholomew Versus the Wheel" is the shortest one-off short ever made.
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