CABOOL, Mo. — Ryan Wood’s mastiff Scooby was his best friend.

The service dog was vital to his daily routine as Wood operated his bike shop in Cabool.

“If I were to fall, he would basically be my bench so I could push on him, pull on him, and he would allow me to get back up into the chair,” Wood said. “People would come say hi to the dog and people come to the bike shop and loves interacting with the dog, it takes a little bit of attention away from you being in a wheelchair.”

Wood and his wife decided to take Scooby to a groomer in Mountain Grove.

“I think it was only an hour, my wife had gotten the call that, you know, something happened to Scooby,” Wood said.

“[The employee was] just hysterical and said Scooby passed,” Nicole Wood said. “I was like, What? I mean, I was I didn’t even know how to handle myself. I was like, No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I didn’t think it was real.”

But Scooby was gone.

“We actually called the police before I even went there. I was just kind of irate about the whole situation, so I wanted to make sure somebody was present there to mediate,” Wood said. 

Both Mountain Grove Police and Animal Control have confirmed an investigation is underway.

Wood says he’s sent Scooby’s body to vets for answers. 

“They called us later, last night and said that he had bruising all around his neck and that he had choked to death,” Wood said.

“I’m trying to work through not blaming myself for picking the groomer. I’m trying to work through Ryan’s pain and the pain of not having [Scooby] here,” Nicole Wood said. 

The state of Missouri does not regulate pet grooming facilities that do not keep animals overnight.

The Woods say above anything, they just want transparency in the investigation and to let people know what happened. 

“There may be other people out there that have had incidents at this particular dog grooming location,” Wood said. “My solution is to put a simple camera up, you know, in the dog grooming section in the dog area, then we have a third eye of what’s happening.”