Man recovers dog-eaten tickets

Updated: April 8, 2012, 8:41 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Russ Berkman had long dreamed of attending the Masters and his dream was coming true. He was about to get on a plane and head east to attend Wednesday's practice round at Augusta National with three friends.

But perhaps Berkman's friend Sierra wasn't so keen on being left behind in the Seattle area. Or maybe she was just hungry.

Berkman told KJR-AM in Seattle on Tuesday that he found himself calling the Masters ticket office on Monday with the same story that has failed to save countless junior high students: the dog ate my Masters tickets.

In this case, it wasn't an excuse. Sierra, Berkman's Swiss mountain dog, had made a snack out of four of the most highly sought tickets in golf while Berkman was making a last-minute shopping run for his trip to Augusta, he told KJR's "Mitch in the Morning" show.

Berkman had won the right to buy the tickets for Wednesday's practice round through an online lottery conducted by the tournament. But when he returned home from shopping, he found the string from those tickets on the floor and realized what Sierra had done.

Not knowing what to do next, Berkman told the station, he called his girlfriend, who was at a triathlon in Hawaii.

"And she says, 'well, you've got to make the dog puke,' " he told he station.

This is where some might have given up.

Not Berkman, who told KJR that he knew veterinarians safely give hydrogen peroxide to dogs as an emetic. He did; 10 minutes later, there on his deck, among the previous contents of Sierra's tummy, was what was left of four Masters tickets.

"I would say each ticket was in roughly 20 pieces," Berkman told the station.

He told the station that he was able to reclaim "about 70 percent" of the four tickets. And Monday morning, he called the Masters ticket office with what sounds like the mother of all excuses -- except that he had the proof.

Happily for Berkman, his friends and Sierra, the ticket office issued him new passes for Wednesday, he told the station.