It’s 2:00 am and the family is asleep, but TatorTot becomes a true canine hero and detects a child’s health crisis. 

This all happened in the early hours of the morning. However, instead of being fast asleep, this pit bull rescue pup was alert. Instinctively he realized that his human sibling, four-year-old Peyton, was having a life-threatening episode. And, thanks to him, the little boy got the speedy and vital hospital attention he needed to survive.

Best buddies Peyton and TatorTot, the canine hero that detected the child's health crisis
Best buddies Peyton and TatorTot, the canine hero that detected the child’s health crisis

Introducing A New Blog Series – Pet Hero Stories

Across the world, people love to hear about pets that are true heroes. So that is why, from time to time, I’ll be publishing an ongoing series of stories about these pets. They illustrate the intelligence, loyalty and compassion that companion animals show towards other animals and humans, And they certain deserve our admiration and respect. Here’s the first one. Enjoy!

Pit Bull Rescue Pup Saves A Life

In 2013, TatorTot was a high-energy, pit bull puppy being held at a Minneapolis, MN, municipal pound. Just before he was scheduled to be put down, a local rescue organization pulled him. He then spent time with a foster family so they could prepare him for eventual adoption.

What follows is simply amazing when you consider the timeline of events. And, in addition, the fact that after being classified unadoptable, this heroic pet gives the alert to a boy’s medical emergency and helps save his life.

TatorTot never leaves Peyton’s side even at nap time
TatorTot never leaves Peyton’s side even at nap time

He had only been at the Smith household for four days when Christi’s four-year-old son, Peyton, suffered a severe low-glycemic episode while he was sleeping. At around 2am TatorTot was running around trying to alert the family that something was very wrong. When his mother got up she found the pup on Peyton’s bed, barking, pawing him and licking his face. Her son was unresponsive and barely breathing. Christi rushed him to the ER where he was successfully revived. However, if the boy hadn’t received medical attention in time, he could have had a seizure, gone into a coma, or simply not have survived.

No Training, Just Instinct

As most of us know, medical-alert dogs generally undergo training but, instinctively, TatorTot knew what to do. And, for his heroic action, he was given the PETA Heroic Dog award, a Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association Hero Award and the City of Brooklyn Park Mayor’s Good Canine Award. Wow!

One of many awards given to TatorTot, the heroic pet who alerted a boy's medical emergency
One of many awards given to TatorTot, the heroic pet who alerted a boy’s medical emergency

In Memoriam

Up until recently this amazing dog enjoyed a life filled with fun and adventure in his adopted home with the Smith family. But sadly, he became very ill and on May 1st 2017, aged four, he succumbed to lymphoma. Nevertheless, this canine hero, who detected a child’s health crisis, will forever be remember as an inspiration to all mankind. RIP, sweet TatorTot.

To Sum Up

We love our companion animals and they never cease to surprise us. Their intelligence, loyalty and compassion towards other animals and humans is amazing. For more dog and cat hero stories in the coming weeks, please stay tuned.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

More must read articles in this category:

Drowning senior saved by Golden Retriever, https://petpeevesunmasked.com/dog-hero-moe-saves-drowning-man

Australian Cattle Dog protects a lost child, https://petpeevesunmasked.com/australian-cattle-dog-hero/


  1. Love the story, love the photos. I had a pittie once, too, Tony. Sadly he ran away and didn’t come back home. He would go running with my other dog, Valentine, and they would return together in 45 minutes, like clockwork! I did what I could to find him, but we were having a snowstorm, and I was in a hip cast at the time. I hope he has had a good life.

    1. Eva, glad you liked this bittersweet article. Sorry to hear about your experience. I try to educate as many people as I can that Pitties are not born bad. It’s the acts of despicable humans that have demonized these poor dogs.

  2. I am so glad you posted this story about the pit bull, Tater Tot (Love the name). I am learning so much about this breed and the wonderful dogs they can become. In case anyone is interested, I have been watching a lot of episodes of “Pit-bulls and Parolees” on Animal Planet.

    If you have not seen it, I urge you to check it out. Tia and her kids are doing a great job of rescuing pit bulls and rehabbing them to find forever homes for them in the New Orleans area and other cities across the US. Some episodes are sad but, most of them have wonderful happy endings. I am very impressed with the job this pit bull rescue group does to make sure that each dog goes to a safe and loving forever home.

    1. Debbie, I’ve been watching this show for a number years now. What they do is awesome. They are experienced and meticulous and make sure that those wanting to adopt are true animal lovers, not people who will end up selling a pitbull to a fighting ring. I thoroughly recommend all dog lovers watch the work of Tia, her family and the parolees.

  3. We once knew a woman with M.S. (Multiple Sclerosis) and she asked us what breed of dog would make a good service dog as a “cane dog” or a “balance dog” we told her that an American Staffordshire Terrier or pit bull is the strongest & best muscle structure for climbing up on to from a fall to the floor, and giving help by getting one up by leaning into one and helping by pushing one up to gain balance and “be a cane” to have one get on ones feet or to a chair again.
    She kept that pit for many years and she the pit bull dog even let her dental floss its teeth every day, too. Besides being a Service dog. it also was a registered Therapy dog team with Pet Partners with her going with her handler on volunteer visits. It had two jobs which were entirely different.
    BTW: Our family also had a part Siamese cat that recognizes blood sugar being too low in my step-son while he was sleeping that did the same things as Tatar Tot. She was our family pet, and Saved him, too from coma. Very blessed, saved during scary times. Animals are so amazing 😉

    1. Keith, Thanks so much for telling your stories. Yes, animals are truly amazing and they continue to amaze me as I read more and more stories every day about their intelligence, sensory skills and noble acts. Would be interested to know which organization you are with.

    1. Thanks for the information, Keith. At some time in the near future, I’d like to write a blog on the work done by these two organizations. Even publish an on-going series of specific cases. Would that interest you?

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