It’s a mystery many have wondered about at times: Where do all those missing socks go when you lose them?

Next time it happens, you may want to check your dog.Recently, surgeons at Dove Lewis Animal Hospital operated on a 3-year-old Great Dane, who ate 43 (and a half) socks.”We opened up his stomach and kept removing sock after sock, of all different shapes and sizes,” said Dove Lewis surgeon Ashley Magee.

Sure, dogs don’t have the most discriminating of tastes, but 43 socks?

“It could be an anxiety thing,” said Magee, adding that when left alone for long periods of time, dogs often seek items of clothing that smell like their owners for comfort. “Dogs get nervous and it’s their natural instinct is to chew.”

Dove Lewis entered the sock x-rays in Veterinary Practice News’ annual They ate WHAT? radiography contest. Dove Lewis won second place and a $500 prize. They put their winnings into the Velvet Assistance Fund, which aids qualifying low-income families facing veterinary emergencies.

Magee said the Great Dane had been in for check-ups since the surgery, and was doing fine. She hoped the dog had changed its ways.

“He did have a history of preference for socks,” she said.