(NBC) – George Kaufmann takes his golden retriever to work at Robert Bernard Jewelers every day, but that proved to be a problem one day in January when the dog, Soli, decided to eat a $20,000 treat.
A diamond dealer brought in a rock for jewelers to inspect, but as soon as he pulled out the diamond, he dropped it.
"I went to pick up the diamond, it wasn't there anymore," said Kaufmann, who co-owns the business. "I looked around and I didn't see it. I grabbed his head, opened his mouth, looked inside and nothing there and I felt him swallow."
Kaufmann scrambled to figure out how to get the very expensive diamond out of Soli's stomach. A veterinarian told Kaufmann that it would pass naturally, which meant checking every day. And it didn't come easy.
"It wasn't that pleasant," Kaufmann said. "I had to go through it, which was not that nice. My cousin, who's a dentist, he thought it was really funny. He brought me a box of rubber gloves."
Kaufmann sifted three days before finding the diamond in the rough.
"It was like hitting pay dirt, like in the gold rush," Kaufmann said.
Gold rush might be the proper phrase because since the incident, the bizarre story has gained international attention.
The National Enquirer picked it up, and on Monday, the BBC called for a live interview. Even a trip to the bank is now an adventure for Kaufmann.
"Somebody said, 'Oh this is the dog that ate the diamond,'" Kaufmann said. "So he's getting to be more well-known."
Kaufmann opted not to buy the diamond but instead returned it to the dealer. A decision he says had nothing to do with how he got his hands on it.