Russ Berkman was excited when he won four tickets to the Masters golf tournament. Even after his dog Sierra ate them, he was determined to go. The good news is that the Augusta National Golf Club reprinted his tickets and he was able to pick them up once he arrived in Georgia. The bad news is that in order to recover the tickets, Berkman induced Sierra to vomit. He got back about 70 percent of the tickets, and was able to piece together and photograph the 20-vomit-covered pieces well enough to explain his situation and convince officials that his story was true.
I have sympathy for Berkman, who found himself in a bad spot. Honestly, who among us has not, at least once, had a dog who ate something of great value that we really wanted to get back? Yet forcing a dog to vomit if the dog’s health is not at stake is questionable.
Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer whose clinical work over the last 17 years has focused on the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in dogs, especially aggression. Karen has been writing the behavior column for The Bark since 2012 and wrote The Bark’s training column and various other articles for eight years before that. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, and teaches a tropical field biology course in Costa Rica. Karen writes an animal column, The London Zoo, which appear in The Arizona Daily Sun and is the author of five books on canine training and behavior. She is working on her next book, which she expects to be published in 2017.