Christi Smith brought TaterTot, a Pit Bull, home from a local shelter just hours before he was scheduled to be put down. She had intended to foster him until a permanent home could be found and thought her 4-year-old son, Peyton, would enjoy his company.
Peyton and TaterTot bonded instantly, playing together from the moment the dog wiggled his way in the door. Their bond was so close that TaterTot detected something was amiss with his young friend. Less than a week after moving in with the Smith's, Peyton seemed deliriously tired and went to bed.
TaterTot somehow knew it wasn't just too much playtime. In the middle of the night, the 10-month-old dog began whining and barking, running back and forth between mother and son. She tried to calm the dog, and told him to lay back down, but TaterTot wasn't giving up. Finally, he started pawing at and licking the boy, which should have woke him up. "I checked on him, and he was barely breathing," recalls Smith.
Peyton's mother rushed him to the emergency room where his blood sugar levels were found to be dangerously low. Doctors said that without immediate medical attention, Peyton could have been seriously injured. They are unsure what caused the drop in blood sugar, since Peyton tested negative for diabetes, but they were able to get the boy stabilized and healthy.
Vets say that TaterTot might have detected ketones that Peyton was producing because of his low blood sugar levels, or the dog might have sensed a change in the boy's electrical activity, similar to how dogs detect seizures. Either way, Smith is certain that TaterTot saved her son.
After the Pit Bull's heroic actions, he is staying with the Smiths for good. "I could have been one of those moms sitting there telling people how I lost my son," Smith said. "I knew that night lying in the hospital that the only I could do (besides spoil the crap out of him) was to adopt him!"
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