If you’ve ever lost something important, you know the panic an Albuquerque woman felt when she couldn’t find her $4,500 wedding ring. But as it turns out, she wasn’t just absentminded — there was a thief afoot. To be more precise, a thief on four feet.

Rachelle Atkinson always leaves her ring on a nightstand when she goes to bed, but when it came up missing one morning, she and her husband Scott tore the house apart looking for it. That’s when they noticed the rather guilty look on their dog Coraline’s face.

The 10-month-old basset hound had indeed swallowed the ring, so the Atkinsons waited for nature to take its course. Poor Scott spent a fruitless 10 days squishing through Coraline’s doggie-droppings, saying — in the mother of all understatements — “Yeah, that wasn’t much fun.”

Finally the couple enlisted the help of a veterinarian, who performed surgery to extract the pricey bauble. Thankfully, Coraline recovered nicely.

Watch a local news story about the ordeal below.

[via KOB]