FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A grieving family is without their furry best friend, but they're also without answers to why their 3-year-old airedale terrier Lucy is dead.
The Bradshaw family of Butler County called for an investigation into Lucy's death Wednesday. They said they left their healthy pet with the Ruff 2 Fluff groomer Tuesday, and in less than one hour, Lucy had died.
Toys once played with now sit unused in Becky Bradshaw's home, because Lucy is no longer there to enjoy them.
"If you knew her (Lucy), her favorite toys were a Frisbee and a ball," Bradshaw said.
Adding to Bradshaw's pain is the memory of her husband, who passed away about a year ago. He had given Lucy to his wife as a Valentine's Day gift.
"She got me through the last year when I just did not think I could get up in the morning," Bradshaw said of Lucy. "She is what got me through."
Losing Lucy recreates pain and struggle for Bradshaw, along with emptiness from being unsure what exactly happened to her dog.
"They did not know what happened," Bradshaw said. "They couldn't say what happened. They did X-rays, but they don't know what happened."
She was told Lucy fell off the grooming table when the groomer turned around, but she's not ready to accept that conclusion.
"Why would you turn your back for one second when you know that a dog could slip off that table?" Bradshaw said. "We all love our animals, you have to treat them like a child you're putting in day care."
The owner of Ruff 2 Fluff, Karen Eikens, said she performed CPR on Lucy, and tried to save the dog's life.
Eikens released a statement late Wednesday afternoon:
"During the grooming of a dog named Lucy, the dog stepped off the grooming table. The groomer grabbed the dog and uprighted the table. The dog was in distress and the staff performed CPR, called the vet and transported the dog to the vet. At the vet, they continued CPR and the dog passed. I am really sorry this happened. It was an accident and we did everything that we could to try to revive her."
Lucy was taken to the Trenton County Animal Hospital to have a necropsy performed.
Ruff 2 Fluff, located at 4109 Hamilton Middletown Road in Fairfield Twp., has been in hot water before over an animal's death on-site.
Leslie Preston and her husband owned two dogs, named Cody and Everete. In November, Preston took Everete, a 5-year-old poodle, to Ruff 2 Fluff. She left Everete at the groomer for about two and a half hours.
"When I picked him up when we were driving home, he just curled into a ball in my lap," Preston said. "He wouldn't move. He wouldn't get up."
Everete's condition worsened throughout the night. The dog's breathing was raspy and he wouldn't eat, drink or bark. The next day, she took Everete to Care Center, a 24-hour vet clinic on East Kemper Road.
"We dropped him off and came home, and got a call at about 11 p.m. that there was an emergency and they couldn't do the tracheostomy because there was so much swelling in his neck and his throat," Preston said. "He went into cardiac arrest and they couldn't save his life."
At the time, the Butler County Sheriff's Office investigated the incident.
According to Eikens, the instances are "100 percent different."