ORADELL, N.J.– Samantha Wittkamp of Oradell was searching high and low for a lacrosse ball in her driveway when she noticed a commotion in the backyard.
"There were these big waves splashing out of the pool," the 13-year-old seventh-grader said. "At first I thought maybe an animal fell in the pool."
Then she realized it was her six-year-old Wheaton Terrier, Sandy.
Despite her size, Samantha pulled her 50-pound pet to safety.
"I couldn't believe my eyes," her mother, Dawn, said after Monday afternoon''s dramatic rescue. "She picked the dog up like a tissue [and] had Sandy around her neck."
The family doesn't know how Sandy got into the underground pool.
"I wish she could talk so she could tell us what she did," said Dawn, who took Sandy to the Farview Animal Clinic in Paramus.
When they returned, Samantha wrapped Sandy in towels and hugged her tight. They slept next to each other that night.
"I'm happy that she got out in time," Samantha said.
"If she didn't save her, Sandy wouldn't have made it," her mother added.