Ben the boxer dog was rushed into surgery after swallowing 16 wayward golf balls.
His owner David Warren, 70, first noticed his beloved pooch was feeling rough two months ago when he stopped eating and started losing weight.
The widower, from Bootle, Merseyside, took the dog to the vets who were concerned he had a blockage in his gut.
After carrying out examinations, they were shocked to find a cluster of 4cm wide golf balls lodged in Ben's stomach.
Grandfather-of-six David said: “One day he’d been sick and there was a golf ball in it but I never thought for a minute it was because he’d eaten it.
“I just thought it was there because we live next to a golf course and he’d been playing with the ball.”
Vets spent two hours operating on the two-year-old pooch to save him.
Dylan Payne, a surgeon at Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Runcorn, Cheshire, said: “We performed an endoscopy of the stomach which revealed a large blockage due to golf balls – lots of golf balls.
“Ben’s stomach was very full so we needed to carry out an urgent surgery to open the stomach to allow us to remove the balls.
“It’s fairly routine, low risk surgery but the removal of so many golf balls is unique. Sixteen is a lot, even for a Boxer."
David added: “They said it was golf balls and I thought he must have swallowed one or two but they said ‘No, he’s swallowed 16’.
“I couldn’t believe it. I’m not a golfer so these were stray balls from the driving range that he’d found and eaten, which shows how good the local golfers are.
The operation was a complete success and Ben is now back at home doing well and gaining weight.
David said the vets even offered him the bag of golf balls to take home.
He added: “I can see the funny side of it all now but at the time it was a very serious situation and no laughing matter.”
Retired floor-fitter David is teaching his mischievous pet to chase after sticks and balls he can’t swallow.
He said: “I’m going to have to buy some footballs for him to play with now, as he can’t possibly swallow something that size, can he?”