RITTMAN, Ohio (CBS Local) — An Ohio family believes their pet dog may have prevented the abduction of their infant son.

Jordyn Pamer and Zachary Phillips said they arrived at their home in Rittman Saturday afternoon with their 7-month-old baby boy, Zeke. Pamer went to take a shower, and Phillips, who works nights, decided to take a nap.

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Zeke was still strapped in the car seat, but when Pamer came out of the shower, Zeke and the carrier were gone.

“It’s like your worst nightmare coming true. I’m like, ‘He’s gone,'” Pamer told CBS affiliate WOIO.

After a frantic, all hands on deck, 20-minute search, Pamer’s father found Zeke, by the door in their unfinished walk-out basement, still in the car carrier.

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It appears the kidnapper had run into the family dog, Lola, who was out back on a leash that allows her to go right up to the basement door.

“I think whoever had my son opened the door to leave with him, I think my dog greeted them and they got scared, and I think they left the baby and took off,” Pamer said.

Pamer said as she got out of the shower, she could hear Lola barking and growling. But since Lola does that often when she’s outside, Pamer didn’t think much of it — until they found Zeke just inside the door.

As police questioned the couple, Pamer recalled that about a month ago, a woman claiming to be from Wayne County Children’s Services showed up at their home to report that someone had filed a complaint about them. As it turns out, there was no record of any complaint and neighbors say the same woman had stopped at several homes on their street.

Pamer is now convinced that there is a connection between that unknown woman homes and the attempted abduction.

“I don’t know if it was her directly, but in my heart feel 100% that she definitely is connected,” Pamer said.

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Rittman Police Chief Ray Arcuri told WOIO that his department is investigating.