07/09/2012 at 02:00 PM EDT
When her dog Max approached a hiker on a daily walk in Culross, Scotland, Valerie MacDonald gave the woman fair warning: The 5-month-old Westie loves to smother people with kisses.
But neither MacDonald nor the nameless hiker, who gladly cuddled the pup, realized that Max nibbled off the woman's diamond ring
– and swallowed it!
A day later MacDonald discovered the sparkly diamond when nature took its course, and now she's trying to track the woman down.
"Next morning when my puppy had his early morning poo – there was the earring," she told the Scottish Daily Record
. "My husband rescued it and cleaned it up, but we have no idea who this lady was or where she was from."
MacDonald hopes her story will reach the backpacking woman, who was traveling with her daughter – but if not, Max may get a new look.
She joked: "If I can't find her I'll just have to get Max's ear pierced and he can wear it."