Family dog saves toddler from drowning

A 14-month-old boy owes his life to the family dog who saved him after he fell into a pool

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By Tony Spehar - tspehar@abc57.com

MARCELLUS TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A family dog is credited with saving the life of a toddler who fell into a pool on the 50000-block of Maple Road just north of Marcellus on Sunday afternoon.

On Monday, Patricia Drauch held her 14-month-old son Stanley and her 4-year-old black lab named Bear a little tighter after a terrifying weekend.

“I’ve always told Bear growing up, ever since he was a pup to just watch over his babies,” Drauch explained.  “I’ve always told him that they were his babies.”

Bear was apparently listening.  On Sunday afternoon Drauch was doing yard work while trying to keep an eye on her children.

“Stanley usually follows us around and I went into the garage to put away some stuff and came back out,” Drauch described.  “Just in a moment he wasn’t behind me.”

She said instinct told her to rush to the pool in her backyard.  She was horrified when she saw Stanley in the water, but fortunately Bear was there too.

“Bear put his back underneath Stanley’s back to keep him from going under any farther,” she described.  “I don’t know where I’d be if Bear didn’t go in for him and keep him up out of the water before I could get to him.”

She immediately pulled Stanley out of the water, she said he had turned blue and wasn’t breathing.  She couldn’t get cell phone service to call 911, so she drove Stanley to the Marcellus Fire Department.

“I was so scared, I grabbed him out, put him on the side, for the life of me I couldn’t remember CPR,” Drauch explained.  “They checked him out, they didn’t hear any fluid in his lungs, he was starting to cry, he was responding to them.”

Stanley was taken to the hospital in Three Rivers and released later that day.

“He’s my hero,” Drauch said of her dog.

Drauch said she hoped the incident will be a lesson for other parents not to lose track of their kids.

“Don’t turn your back for a second, even if your child stays away from the pool,” she cautioned.  “There’s always that one time that they’ll get curious.”

Drauch told said that X-rays have shown that her son Stanley is in perfect health and hasn’t suffered any ill-effects from his near death experience.

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