A dog who’s been branded the ‘ultimate sock thief’ by his owners has had to have surgery to remove four of them from his stomach.
April and Ben Coates say their Cocker Spaniel, Harvey, has stolen and eaten over 150 socks since they got him as a puppy four years ago.
The sock bandit, who has left his family with the same number of odd pairs, even steals his favoured item right off the feet of the couple’s two children, Mason, two, and Molly, seven months.
But the pinching pooch – who normally passes the socks through his digestive system – got a shock when he was rushed to the emergency vets and had to undergo surgery to remove four lodged socks from his intestine.
April, 29, from Mundford, Norfolk, said: ‘He’s the ultimate sock thief.
‘He’s always eaten socks, ever since we have had him as a puppy.
‘Normally they pass through his digestive system and we just have to throw them away when they come out the other end, but this time he had eaten a ball of my son’s socks and they had become wedged.
‘He didn’t seem himself and he was struggling to walk so I was panicking and took him to the emergency vets.’
It was a touch and go moment, and vets operated right away for four hours, also finding a chewed-up piece of blanket in his stomach.
April, however, believes that it’s unlikely Harvey has learned his lesson, as he’s back to his old ways.
She added: ‘They offered me the socks back when they had removed them but I declined.
‘We already have 150 odd pairs between the family from his previous thefts.’
The stay-at-home mum and plasterer, Ben, 28, have even had to resort to moving the washing basket to a top shelf and hiding their socks, but their efforts aren’t always successful.
April said: ‘We have tried everything.
‘We have to keep the washing basket on a high up shelf, and keep all our socks in drawers he can’t get to but I don’t know where he manages to find them.
‘He pinches them right off our children’s feet, he’s an absolute nightmare. It’s like a game to him even if you tell him no a million times.
‘But he’s my “first born” so I can’t stay mad at him for long!’
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