A puppy is in the doghouse after eating 15 pairs of socks.
Mum-of-two Kathryn Danby was baffled by the rising number of odd socks in her house – till she realised the culprit was her Staffordshire bull terrier George.
“I went into the garden to clear up his mess and was shocked to see he’d passed one of my socks,” she said.
That was until the mum-of-two noticed that the five-month-old pooch had passed one after going outside to do his business.
The carer, 37-year-old, from Leadgate, County Durham, said: “I was shocked.”
And although Kathryn has still never seen George snatch a sock – she quite often has to clear up the evidence.
She said: “I must have cleaned up at least 10 socks in the garden.
“I have at least 20 pairs of odd socks at the moment. I’m putting that down to George’s hobby.
“We either find them in the garden or around the house when they’ve come out the other way.
“But he always eats them whole. He doesn’t nibble on them, just chomps the whole thing.
“I didn’t even know where he was getting them from because he isn’t allowed upstairs and underwear always goes in the tumble dryer – until one day I caught him with his head in the washing machine. I couldn’t believe it.”
George has even vomited up a bundle of two yellow minion socks belonging to Kathryn’s youngest daughter, Imogen, four, and is quite partial to her 12-year-old sister, Millie’s trainer socks.
But he stays away from 42-year-old maintenance worker husband Mark’s socks as they are too big for him to handle.
His puppy pastime came to a head (or afoot) last month when he had to go to the vets to remove one of the offending articles.
Kathryn was out walking with George when she noticed he was under the weather.
She took him to Prince Bishop Veterinary Hospital and discovered he had a sock stuck in his stomach – along with some stones and a dog toy. He had an operation to remove them.
Vet Gemma Taylor has now recommended his owners buy him a muzzle to curb his appetite for socks until he grows out of the habit.
She said: “Hopefully this is something he will grow out of as it is associated with teething.
“But we need to stop it becoming a habit and make sure he doesn’t think it is a game when people take a sock from him.
“He is just very bright and he is making his own entertainment, but unfortunately it is not a healthy habit.
“Kathryn is doing the right things like keeping him in a crate, giving him toys to keep his interest and considering a basket muzzle.
“Everything has to be kept out of harm’s way for puppies, although that’s difficult in a family home.”
Kathryn said: “We are trying to minimise what he can steal. All socks have to be tucked away in drawers or on feet and make sure to keep the washing machine door locked.”