I have been an approved foster for Ruff Start Rescue in Princeton, MN for a little over 3 years. I have seen some of the worst things and some of the greatest things through this rescue.  I also have made some of the greatest friends anyone could ever ask for! Not only have I temporarily fostered dogs, and given countless hours, done many home visits, processed many applications, donated money and supplies, and have fostered tons of dogs. Who would have guessed my Pit Bull foster would save me from the worst heart break in the world by SAVING my son!

TatorTot was pulled from Minneapolis Animal Care & Control (MACC) by Ruff Start Rescue. He was originally supposed to be a foster to adopt situation, then after months of trying to make him fit to the family, so as they waited patiently for awhile for a new foster to step up. I had gotten an email about a month prior to me taking him, I had seen another dog I wanted to pull from MACC, but the timing wasn’t right. I was told again about TatorTot (then know as Gator, stupid name if you ask me). Originally I had thought that he was going to be too much energy for my family and that he would just end up stir crazy, Boy was I wrong!

I picked up TatorTot on Saturday September 28th, 2013, my first reaction was “Oh my, what a strong boy!” I then took him home, let him play in the yard, fed him, and took him to the pet store for some new items i.e. collar, leash, food, chew toys, and training treats!! When I got home immediately go to work on training, he knew “Sit” and “Shake” right off the bat! Thinking to myself “This is a good start!” I now have taught him more leash manners as he loves to pull, I taught him to go lay down when we are having dinner, I also taught him to sit and wait for his food till I give him the “OK”. Little did I know that he would become my medical alert dog!

On Wednesday October 2nd, 2014 I had put my son to bed about 8:30pm as normal, it always takes him a few tries to get him to actually to go to bed, So I waited a bit till he was asleep to go to bed, at 1:30am my son comes to me, acting kind of strangely, nothing to be concerned of more just like he was deliriously tired. So off he goes back to bed. I didn’t realize it right away, but my foster dog TatorTot (a brown/red Pit Bull Terrier) was starting to act strange too. Before I knew it TatorTot was running back and forth between my son and I, barking and whining, I told him to knock it off of course and tried to get him to come lay down with me. Finally after a few minutes I go to check on my son.  He was completely unconscious, but not like any other passed out child. TatorTot was still barking and whining and licking my son’s face, any other child for surely would have woken up from this! Even when I was trying wake him up he didn’t move or flinch. As I scoop my son in my arms, I whisper “Good boy TatorTots!”

I then rush my son to the hospital, finding out after hours of being there that his Glucose levels were dangerously low; they ran some tests thinking Diabetes type II. They gave me supplies and taught me how to administer Glucose, and also gave chewable tabs.  They also told me to get into our Pediatrician that day, after ever couple hour checking his levels (without being on meds) everything looked normal again that day. We went to the doctors and had tests run, and told me to carry on till we got the tests back. Today October 4, 2013 we just got the tests back! My son is NEGATIVE for Diabetes!! (Everyone can exhale now). Still we haven’t found out the cause of this, but it’s a very good start!

As for my handsome TatorTot (Tots, Or Totski as I like to call him) He is my Saving Grace! He is the most well behaved Pit Bull I have ever met! I owe EVERYTHING to this wonderful dog! He saved me from the most heart breaking pain any mother could feel, I could have lost my son! And MY PIT BULL saved him! How do you honestly repay a dog for saving a life and saving  your own heart break? 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! I later that morning when we got back emailed the rescue, because another family wanted to meet him again. I told them what had happened and completely understood my reasoning (come on, really, who wouldn’t?).

My story then went Viral on the internet among the rescue community! I have received an over abundance of love and support! I have even had people want to help pay for his adoption! (Being a single mom, with no help from the state, or child support, I truly thank you!) If any donations want to be made, I request that it go towards training for TatorTot to become a therapy dog, Or to Ruff Start Rescue to save more lives. I am truly blessed to have a wonderful son, amazing PIT BULL, outstanding friends and family, a small but powerful rescue, and the love and support from the rescue community.

I owe all of my Gratitude, Love, and Protection to MY PIT BULL TatorTot!


(Thanks for making mama proud Tots!)



Christi Smith


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