Patricia Drauch, 30, said that was walking to her garage to return some gardening tools last weekend when Stanley, her 14-month-old son -- who had been toddling right behind her -- disappeared from sight.
“Stanley usually follows us around and I went into the garage to put away some stuff and came back out,” Drauch told ABC 57 News. “Just in a moment, he wasn’t behind me.”
Frantically searching around her house for him, Drauch, who lives in Marcellus, Mich., said she found him lying face-up in the family pool.
"It was scary. His lips were blue. His eyes were rolled back," Drauch told News 8. "It was the scariest feeling and the image stays in your head for a long time."
Incredibly, Stanley was not alone. When Drauch looked closer, she noticed that her black Labrador, Bear, was balancing the little boy on his back, helping him to keep his head above water.
"[Bear] wouldn't move in the pool," she said. "He didn't bark. He didn't move. It was like he was afraid to move at all until I got Stanley up out of the pool and that's when [Bear] came up out of the pool with me."
Gathering up Stanley and her other children, Drauch jumped into her car and headed to the fire department. En route Stanley regained consciousness.
When the toddler arrived at the fire department, he was described as "alert and in good condition."
Drauch told the Sturgis Journal that she's convinced that Bear saved her little boy's life.
"We all believe that if it wasn’t for Bear he would have sunk down,” Drauch said. “It was incredible to see Bear holding him up like that.”
Though there were no witnesses to the heroic rescue, Cass County Undersheriff Rick Behnke told News 8 that the vomit found in Drauch's car is evidence that Stanley ingested water before expelling it -- confirming the idea that the toddler nearly drowned before being propped up by Bear.
"From the information we have, it seems to pan out," Behnke said. "It's an amazing story. The dog is a lifesaver. That's all I can say."
She added that Bear has been trained from a young age to care for her children.
“I’ve always told Bear growing up, ever since he was a pup to just watch over his babies,” Drauch said. “I’ve always told him that they were his babies.”