BROOKLYN, Ohio -- Paula Schoch carries a picture of her 2-year-old Schnoodle, Nannie, in her cell phone. It is all she has left of the dog who’d become the undisputed "baby" of her family.
"She was our little love. She was a snuggle-buggle and such a sweet personality," said Schoch, as she described the 20-pound bundle of curly black fur she loved to hold.
Nannie was scheduled for a summer clip at the Pet Supplies Plus in Brooklyn's Ridge Park Square, where the chain advertises grooming by professionals. Schoch handed Nannie off Thursday morning and waited for the call to come pick her up. That was not the call she got.
"She hung herself ... she hung herself," said Schoch, as she explained what happened to her dog.
Schoch said she arrived at the Ridge Road store to find her little one lifeless, Nannie’s newly clipped curls stuffed in a blue plastic bag.
"It’s just surreal. I can't believe it, I just can't believe it," the Cleveland mother-of-four sobbed outside the Pet Supplies Plus.
Schoch said the manager told her Nannie had been left standing on a table with her neck in a groomer's noose. The groomer reportedly walked away to help someone else with a nail clip, leaving Nannie to fall to her death.
"I feel it's so negligent and so irresponsible. It's common sense. You never leave a dog restrained like that, alone," insisted Schoch.
She said it appeared Nannie tried to save herself; the Schnoodle’s hind paws and nails were bloodied, as if the 20-pound pup desperately tried to claw her way back to the table that was only close enough to touch.
Fox 8 News entered the Ridge Road store and offered the manager an opportunity to explain how Schoch’s dog could die in the care of its staff.
"Uh, media is not allowed in the store," the manager said.
When asked to talk about Nannie's death, the manager said, "No, step out of the store."
The manager offered no explanation. Throughout the morning, and into the afternoon, it appeared to be business as usual at the pet store. A sign remained posted just outside the door advertising grooming by professionals.
"I understand we're all human, and we all make mistakes, but it doesn't take away the pain of our family," said Schoch, who was struggling to deal with the loss of her dog.
Brooklyn Police responded to the incident that the city’s animal control officer was investigating. The groomer could face charges.
Meanwhile, the Schoch’s have taken Nannie to Ohio State’s Veterinarian Medical School in Columbus for a necropsy, or the animal equivalent of an autopsy. The information could prove helpful to the investigation into Nannie’s death.