As The Starlight Barking opens every living creature except dogs is gripped by an enchanted sleep. One of the original Dalmatian puppies, Cadpig, all grown up since the first novel, is now the Prime Minister's mascot. Relying on her spotted parents for guidance, she assumes emergency leadership for the canine population of England.
Awaiting advice from Sirius, the Dog Star, dogs of every breed crowd Trafalgar Square to watch the evening skies. The message they receive is a disturbing proposition, one that might forever destroy their happy status as "man's best friend".