Never underestimate the power of having a loyal dog by your side.
It was a Friday morning when surveillance cameras captured Sherry Noppe of Katy, Texas heading out for a walk with her dog in her Parkland Village neighborhood. Sherry often walks her black Labrador, Max, in this area which backs up against the 2,700-acre George Bush Park.
Unfortunately, on this particular day, Sherry got turned around in the woods just a few miles from home. Her family says she’s very familiar with the park’s trail system, but she was also diagnosed with dementia in recent months due to memory loss.
When she didn’t return home, her family was alarmed. They contacted police, and within a day a massive search party was underway. The police, Texas EquuSearch, and Sherry’s friends and family scoured the neighborhood and surrounding park trails on ATV and by foot for days, even as powerful storms passed through the area.
By day three, Sherry’s family had started to lose hope when, suddenly, everything changed with a “woof.”
A small group of volunteers were searching the woods one last time at around 3 a.m. when they heard Max barking.
“And we knew when that dog barked — there should be no dogs out there — that was her,” recalled Michael England, a friend of the family. “She wasn’t severely disoriented or severely out of it, but definitely lost, and didn’t know what to do.”
Sherry was uninjured, but she was taken to the hospital to be examined just in case.
Her daughter Courtney said, “She’s doing surprisingly well for how long she’s been out there and the conditions that we were expecting. The heat. The rain. We’re very grateful.”
Once Sherry was found, her rescuers began praising the true hero of the day: Max!
“With Max, that dog had no leash, no collar, and stayed by her side for three days,” said Sherry’s son, Justin. “And that just shows you the loyalty the dog has.”
Justin further explained that Max was already a special member of their family before his heroic actions in the woods with Sherry.
“Max was our brother’s dog, he passed away two years ago,” he said. “He’s the last thing that we really have of him. To get them both back is a silver lining.”
Once he’d had a much-needed bath and was checked out by a veterinarian, Max’s family treated him to a juicy steak dinner to thank him for his loyalty. You’ve got to love a hero who can be rewarded with treats and belly rubs!
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