MENOMONIE, Wis. - Debbie Hulleman's dog Pepper has been known to gnaw on lipstick, munch on shampoo bottles and chew on toothpaste. But Pepper got Hulleman into a real mess after gobbling nearly $750.
"This is probably the worst," Hulleman said Thursday, recalling how she poked through vomit and dog piles left in the yard to recover the cash.
Hulleman had asked her mother in Oakdale, Minn., to take care of Pepper and Zach, the family's other dog last month while she and husband went on vacation.
Pepper, an 8-year-old black Labrador-German shorthair, got into a purse belonging to her mother's friend and chewed the cash from an envelope.
Hulleman's mother recovered some of the money that Pepper spit out, thinking she had it all. But when Hulleman returned from the trip and went to clean up her dogs' mess outside, she noticed a $50 bill hanging from one pile.
The chore of sorting through dog feces netted about $400, the 50-year-old dog lover said. Between that and other bills that Pepper had either vomited or simply chewed on, the family recovered $647.
"We have a $100 bill that can't be recovered because you need three-fourths of a bill and it is only half of a bill," Hulleman said.
The family swapped the soiled money for fresh currency at a bank.
"It wasn't that bad. I soaked it and strained it and rinsed it. I just kept rinsing it and rinsing it. I had rubber gloves on of course," Hulleman said.
"Everyone said, 'I can't believe you did that.' Well, for $400, yeah, I would do that," she said.