A GERMAN Shepherd named Libby found herself undergoing surgery and then entering the record books after she ate no less than 28 golf balls!
Libby’s owner, Mike Wardrop used to encourage her to collect any stray golf balls on their daily walk around the Didsbury Gold Club, Manchester, where he works as bar manager. Libby was happy to bilge and would often run up to Mike with as many as five balls crammed in her mouth at one time… although, as later became obvious, she swallowed plenty before handing them over.
Mike suspected something was amiss when he heard rattling noises coming from 18 month-old Libby’s tummy and she went off her food. The vets confirmed that she had at least one foreign body in her stomach and decided to operate. During the course of a two and half hour operation the vets were amazed to discover 28 golf balls in Libby’s stomach.
John Ford, a partner at the Greenbank Veterinary Centre who treated Libby described the find as "unbelievable."
"Never in my career have I seen anything approaching 28 golf balls in animal’s stomach. We didn’t even need to X-ray her when she was brought in – she was clanking and we could feel the balls in her stomach."
Once the first golf ball was removed, the vets operating on Libby started taking bets as to how many would emerge – the highest guess was 11, which was far short of the total.
Mr Ford said the balls had been in Libby’s stomach for several weeks. "It’s not unusual for dogs eat stones and grass, but God knows what made her think the gold balls were good to eat," he said.
Libby’s predilection for golf balls has earned her a place in the Guinness Book of Records. The previous record holder for golf ball eating was a Yellow Labrador named Shamus who was reported to have swallowed 17 golf balls in North Carolina, USA in 2000.
Mike Wardrop said that the £600 cost of Libby’s operation was money well spent, not least for Libby’s well being, but also because the vets gave him all the balls back. Combined they weight more than six pounds.
"They were slightly discoloured but otherwise in great condition," he said. "They’ll be great for practice.
"As for Libby herself, her eyes still light up when she sees a golf ball – you’d have thought she learned not to swallow them when she started feeling ill, but apparently not. We’re trying to wean her onto playing with footballs now, as she can’t possibly swallow them!"