They say a dog is man's best friend.

Norman, a one-and-a-half year-old Bernese mountain dog, can now add "life-saver" to his resume.

A Nova Scotia man is alive and recovering from a dangerous brain injury and he gives all the credit to Norman.

About three weeks ago, Joe Lewis was doing yard work with Norman in the backyard of his Middle Sackville home when Lewis got a pounding headache and went inside for a glass of water.

"When I bent down to take a drink of water, it was like I got hit in the back of the head with a baseball bat, like smashed in the back," Lewis said.

Lewis says the pressure built up in his head, and he had trouble standing, but Norman wouldn't let him lie down.

"He kept coming back and barking at the windows, and then coming back to me," Lewis said. "That's when I realized he was trying to get some attention to come help."

Norman caused such a fuss that Lewis called his sister for help.

She called the ambulance, and Lewis was rushed to the hospital with a ruptured vein in his brain. His brain was bleeding and swelling rapidly.

Without Norman, Lewis would have tried to take a nap -- a mistake that could have been deadly.

"He's very sensitive," says Danielle Henneberry, Lewis's partner, of Norman. "He knows when something minor or something small is wrong or off. I've never had a dog like him. Ever."

Henneberry was on her way home from her baby shower when she found out what happened. She rushed to the hospital and sat with Lewis while he spent a week-and-a-half in the hospital.

Now, Lewis can't work, and Danielle is on maternity leave, due to give birth in September.

They weren't expecting a GoFundMe page to raise more than $8,000 to help.

"I was thinking I don't know how we're going to survive," Henneberry said. "I had already spoken to my parents about moving in with them for a few months. It's amazing, and I don't know really how to thank people."

But they can thank Norman.

The pooch is getting pampered these days with lots of treats and premium food, donated by a local store.

Now, Norman just stays close to his family, keeping watch over his best friend.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Emily Baron Cadloff.