Voice 1: Lois Matykowski and her husband Don live in the small town of Steven Falls in the north-central state of Wisconsin in the USA. The Matykowskis share their home with Tucker, the family dog. Lois and Don adopted Tucker, a hyperactive Rottweiler mix, ten years ago from the Wisconsin Humane Society.
Voice 2: 'We realised Tucker was a lively dog the moment we brought him home. And today he still acts like a big puppy,' says Lois. 'He might be ten years old now, but he still behaves as if he were two. We don't know where he gets all his energy from. And he has never grown out of a habit he had as a pup. We thought he would, but he hasn't.'
Voice 1: Tucker loves to eat – something the Matykowskis learned when he was a pup. They realised they had to be careful what they left lying around the house for fear that Tucker would grab it, chew it and swallow it down.
Voice 2: Lois knew what would happen if she left a newly-baked pie or fresh sandwiches on the kitchen table. As soon as her back was turned, Tucker would sneak in and help himself. Lois and Don christened their dog ' the food burglar'.
Voice 1: Even though Lois and Don keep Tucker generously supplied with dog treats, this didn't stop him pinching food whenever, whatever and wherever. He's a big dog and his paws and open mouth can grab tasty snacks very easily.
Voice 2: Six years ago, there was a bit of a drama in the Matykowski household. Lois lost her wedding ring. She had worn the ring for twenty years, and was devastated when it went missing. After searching every corner of the house, garden and car for weeks, Lois gave up and accepted the inevitable. She had lost her precious wedding ring, and there was nothing she could do about it.
Voice 1: But Lois and Don didn't consider the possibility that the ring had been stolen. The story now moves on to one Monday morning June 2013 when the thief suddenly returned the ring to Mrs Matykowsi in very unusual circumstances.
Voice 2: It was a hot, sunny morning and Lois was sitting in the garden eating home-made ice lollipops with her two granddaughters. Suddenly, she noticed Tucker panting, and she got up to get some water for him.
Voice 1: Quick as a flash, Tucker made his move. Who wants a bowl of water when there are ice lollies around? Tucker snatched a lolly from one of the girls' hands and swallowed it, stick and all.
Voice 2: Frightened that the dog would choke, Lois rang the vet. The vet told Lois to put some Vaseline between two slices of bread and feed it to the dog. The greasy sandwich made Tucker throw up, and Lois was relieved when he coughed up the wooden lollipop stick. But that wasn’t the end of the drama.
Voice 1: Two days later, Tucker got sick again. He started to make choking noises, and began to vomit. Don managed to get the dog out of the house into the garden where he was seriously sick.
Voice 2: When Lois began to clean up the mess, she let out a scream. There among all the revolting, half-digested food, she spotted something sparkling: her missing wedding ring.
Voice 1: After a quick clean with toothpaste and a toothbrush, the ring looked as good as it had on the day Lois lost it. The vet told Don and Lois that the lollipop stick must have dislodged the ring that had been stuck in Tucker's stomach for six years. He gave the dog a full X-ray examination to make sure there wasn't anything else lodged in his intestines.
Voice 2: The story of the food burglar and the wedding ring was reported on local TV and in the press in Steven Falls last summer, and Tucker has become something of a celebrity pooch!