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Dog eats $4,000 in cash off of counter. The unpleasant way his owners got it back

That's one expensive dog treat.
/ Source: TODAY

The dog eating your homework is a story as old as time. But for one Pennsylvania couple, the adage somehow came true and briefly cost them thousands of dollars.

Clayton and Carrie Law had taken cash out to do a home improvement project and left the envelope of money on the countertop when their dog, Cecil, decided it was time for a very expensive snack.

"I just walked around the house just doing stuff and came back and then all of a sudden, I walked in on Cecil just standing over a pile of mutilated cash, essentially," Clayton Law laughs.

On the left, a brown and white dog with curly hair looks forlorn. On the right, a pile of shredded money sits on a paper bag.
Cecil, 7, decided to eat a very expensive snack: $4,000 in cash.Courtesy Carrie Law

The Laws say Cecil had never, in all seven years of his life, gotten on the counter before and typically is more of a snuggly couch potato.

"So this was like, pretty shocking," Carrie Law says of her 100 pound doodle. "It's just never been of interest to him."

Clayton Law says they were "in disbelief."

"It was so out of character that it just didn't seem real," he says.

The dog seemed fine, at first, until the middle of the night when the Laws were awoken by a sound every dog owner knows all too well: the gagging of their pet about to vomit.

"When you hear that, you immediately just react, so I jumped out of bed and just made sure that he didn't throw up anywhere. Not great," Clayton Law says. "And then I went to pick it up...and I realized: 'There's a lot of like half-eaten and $100 bills and $50 bills here.'"

That night was the first of many in the coming days where the Laws had the unfortunate task of sifting through their dog's bodily waste.

A dog sits splayed out on a couch.
Cecil the dog.Courtesy of Carrie Law

They were able to find most of the bills through this unpleasant task, carefully washing and sorting the pieces to put them back together.

"We hit this point... (of) diminishing returns," Clayton Law says. "We just kind of called it quits after two or three days."

They pieced together as many bills as they could — they had to have more than 50% of each bill to get their money back — and their bank swapped them out. In the end, the two were able to recoup $3,550, they say.

"It was an expensive puzzle," Clayton Law laughs.

A young woman sits next to a large brown and white dog.
Cecil and Carrie Law.Courtesy Carrie Law

The bank was "really nice about it," Carrie Law says, and told them that this happens all the time.

"They said it actually happens quite a bit because money just picks up so many scents, especially if it's used in the food industry," she says. "I guess dogs pick up on that — they have such a good sense of smell — and something about it just drove him crazy."

Their original home improvement project — a new fence — still hasn't quite happened but for now, they're settling on another one: creating art with the remaining pieces of money they couldn't put back together.

The Laws also shared Cecil’s story to social media, where it went viral.

"We're just happy the story's making people laugh," Carrie Law says. "I think a lot of people can relate to this because we've all had a pet or a kid that has done something silly like this in one way or the other and you just can't be mad at them. You just have to love them anyway."