AURORA, Ill. – A family is thanking their 8-year-old son for saving his mom and dog who fell through a frozen lake.

Cathy Merdernach and her son, Caden, were walking their 11-year-old dog, Baily, when Baily suddenly fell into a frozen lake behind their Aurora, Illinois home.

Merdernach grabbed a canoe and rushed in after Baily. She said in her haste, the canoe tipped over, dumping her into the icy lake.

“Life was passing before my eyes. I was thinking, ‘I’m going to die in this water. As well as my dog,'” Merdenach told WGN-TV.

Caden rushed inside and called his father to tell him what happened. His dad instructed him to hang up and call 911. Merdenach managed to pull herself out of the lake, but Baily was still trapped.

Within minutes, first responders arrived and pulled Baily to safety.

Merdernach said she’s proud of her son’s swift reaction in a frightening situation.

When his mom and dog fell through thin ice, this 8-year-old knew exactly how to save them

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