Dogs are wonderful pets because they are so devoted and protective. When their owner has the most need for them, they are never far from their side. There have been numerous stories of people going missing, only to be seen later with their dogs by their side.
And in other cases, they even end up being the thing that ends up saving the day by leading to a rescue. For instance, a dog that got lost in the woods for three days is credited with helping to save the life of its owner, who had dementia at the time.
Sherry Noppe, 63 years old and from Katy, Texas, was last seen walking her dog, Max when she went missing without a trace. Sherry had just recently been diagnosed with dementia, and her family was worried that she had become disoriented and confused as a result of the condition. The situation was an emergency one.
Sherry’s safe return encouraged the local authorities and people in the nearby region to launch a massive search effort in the surrounding forest.
She was fortunate enough to be located. Sherry had been reported missing for three days before Constable Ted Heap confirmed that she had been found in George Bush Park at around 3 a.m. on Friday by “a group of tireless volunteers and deputies.”
But her loyal dog Max, who had been at her side throughout the ordeal, turned out to be the hero in the end: his barking led the search team to her location.
The volunteers who were part of the search and rescue operation said they were led through the dark woods by tracking the sound of the dog’s barks as they moved.
“There was a lady who had a drum, and she said, ‘The dogs respond to this drum,'” volunteer Ramona Brown recalled to ABC 13. “She was right here where we’re standing. When she started playing the drum, the dog barked only once. So, we are all called ‘Max’ for what? Five hours?”
“Us and police had heard some dogs barking faintly here and there, so we just kept listening for that,” added Michael England, a family friend. “We were happy to find her. Happy that she is alive and healthy. The dog was there. Everything was good. I mean, the dog saved her life.”
The fact that the woman survived the ordeal of someone being held captive for three days was regarded as a “small miracle” by Constable Ted Heap. Sherry reportedly sustained minor bruises and is now thriving in her recovery.
“She said she just kind of took a wrong turn and got lost and got circled, but after that, she doesn’t remember much, kind of got disoriented,” Sherry’s son Justin Noppe told KHOU 11.
The family thanked the authorities and the volunteers who helped search for their mother, but they picked out Max for special praise for his heroic efforts. Not only did he guide the individuals who were attempting to save Sherry to her location, but he also stayed by her side the whole time.
“That dog had no leash, no collar, and stayed by her side for three days,” Justin said. “And that just shows you the loyalty the dog has.”
Max isn’t normally a dog who makes a lot of noise, so the fact that he did so in this situation is even more impressive, given that he was aware of the seriousness of the situation. “He’s not a barker, and I think something was coming, and he was like, I got to protect her,” said daughter Courtney Noppe.
Like his owner, Max was exhausted but unharmed, and he is now recovering and being showered with gifts and treats, including a big steak as a reward.
Max, you are a true hero! We are thankful that you looked out for Sherry while she was away and helped find a way to bring her back home safely.
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