A 63-year-old lady with dementia who went missing in a Texas park was located three days later, thanks to the constant barking of the family dog.
On the afternoon of May 3rd, Sherry Noppe took her black Labrador puppy, Max, for a stroll at George Bush Park, a 3,600-hectare park in Katy, Texas.
Several hours later, with Sherry’s family already worried about her memory loss due to the new diagnosis of dementia, the two still hadn’t returned home.
They notified the authorities and scoured the region that night along with a few friends and family members. The gang didn’t stop exploring the park until 3 a.m., driving around and even breaching locks to access the trails.
Everyone pulled together when they couldn’t locate her. Alpha Search and Recovery volunteers sent out canine teams while the riders from Texas EquuSearch combed the area on horseback. Tens of thousands of individuals assisted in the search for Sherry.
On the evening of May 5th, after two search dogs had located her scent, human searchers resumed their efforts. A few hours later, the park workers were making their way through a dense section of trees when they heard a dog barking—it was Max!
Finally, Sherry and Max were located in the small hours of May 6th.
Courtney, Sherry’s younger daughter, is 34 years old. At three in the morning, she received a call informing her that her mother had been located.
I begged, “Please tell me she’s still alive,” and she answered, “Send me a photo.”
When Courtney saw the snapshot, she immediately began calling family members to share the happy news.
I was impressed by her incredible resilience. Though she wasn’t entirely out of it, she was obviously bewildered. “She was at a loss on what to do,” Michael England, a family friend who helped in the hunt, said.
Before the family gathered to celebrate Mother’s Day, medical attention was given to Sherry and Max.
Jessica, Sherry’s second daughter, said her mother is “doing wonderful.” Jessica is 39 years old.
Now that she’s rehydrated, the wounds on her body have healed, and she’s back to normal, she added. A pretty good recovery has taken place. “She seems to be in a nice mood right now.”
Max is also doing OK, besides a scab across his nose and a scrape on his foot that is mending beautifully. After returning to his house, he slept for about 24 hours straight.
“We feel like he was awake out there for the whole three days, fully awake, guarding her,” Jessica added.
Max is a dog that loves to play and is full of life and energy.
When he recognizes you as a buddy, he will “leap on you to welcome you,” as Courtney put it. He has an insatiable affection for everything and everyone.
However, Max transformed into Sherry’s fierce and devoted defender amid the tragedy. There were several wild pigs and snakes in the area where they were discovered. Even though the days were hot and rainy, Max’s commitment to protecting his master was unwavering.
The collar and leash that had been on Max when they left were no longer there when they returned. Max could have left at any point, but he stayed with Sherry the whole time.
Max was showered with baked goods and other delicacies when word of his heroic act spread.
The way he describes his current situation, “He is living the dream. Jessica assured me that he is showered with affection, sweets, and playthings.
Andrew, Sherry’s son, nurtured Max from the time he was a puppy. Andrew’s dog has been living with his parents ever since he died away two and a half years ago.
According to Justin, Sherry’s second son, their mother, “took my brother’s passing extremely terribly.” Max became a rock for her, and their relationship deepened as a result.
He claimed that having lost their mother and their dog, Max, would have been the “final thing” the family had of Andrew.
The Noppes are planning for the future with a heightened awareness of Sherry’s illness and are contemplating how to best ensure their mother’s safety. They seem content for the time being to be back together again.
In a news conference, Courtney added, “Our mother would not be here if it were not for this entire community.” To put it simply, we appreciate all you’ve done from the depths of our souls.