EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — In the backyard of Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners, a veterinary technician takes Gordon the golden retriever for its morning walk. What’s so amazing is that just 24 hours ago, the dog was on an operating table with a very serious problem.

“They tend not to show when they’re ill, so when they do show symptoms it’s usually the more serious phases,” said Blue Pearl’s outreach coordinator Danielle Akenson.

Serious to say the least. Only days earlier the 7-year-old golden retriever was lethargic, vomiting and dehydrated.

When his owner brought him into the veterinary hospital, it didn’t take staff long to understand why.

“Even before you went in the stomach you could feel it, like a bag full of rocks. That’s what we could feel and hear,” said veterinary surgeon Dr. Jeff Yu.

Gordon’s stomach was full of rocks — 16 to be exact, which when extracted weighed nearly two-pounds.

Dr. Yu performed the two-hour emergency surgery to incise Gordon’s stomach and remove the rocks.

Still, the question on everyone’s mind is, why a dog would eat so many rocks?

“It’s hard to say. Some dogs like things in their mouth, a ball or toy, so we’ll see some dogs with rocks, too. And they get excited and swallow one,” Dr. Yu said.

But 17 rocks, counting the one that Gordon had already passed?

So to dogs and their human counterparts, Gordon’s appetite for trouble is a good lesson to all of us. Watch your dogs and what they’re munching on. It just might turn into a very expensive and dangerous meal.

“They’re a lot like children, where anything that fits into their mouths they’re tempted to eat,” Akenson said.

“Hopefully, he learns his lesson. Otherwise we might see him in a couple of weeks or months,” Dr. Yu chuckles.