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Loyal Labrador Saves The Life Of Missing Woman With Dementia

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on May 12, 2022

63-year-old Sherry Noppe suffers from early-onset dementia, and when someone with dementia wanders off, it can be scary. Sherry went missing after going for a walk at the 7,800-acre George Bush Park in Katy, Texas. None of her human family members were there to guide her when she wandered off the path, but her loyal Lab named Max was by her side.

Max belonged to Sherry’s son, who passed away two years ago. So, the pup has a special bond with the family and knows what to do in a time of crisis. The dog supported his human for three days, and he likely saved Sherry’s life.

Lab saves owner with dementia

Casual Walk Becomes Nightmare

Sherry and Max went missing on May 3rd during their walk in the massive park. Sherry wandered off the path into the woods with the canine, and she couldn’t find a way out. Her family was terrified, so they created a Facebook group to help locate her. People put up cameras, and officers searched the area, but they went three days without any sightings.

Then, around 3 am on May 6th; a rescue team heard a dog barking. When they followed the sound, they saw Max beside Sherry. As they got closer, they heard him growl and bark as if to protect her. It was unusual since Max rarely makes sounds, so he likely only did it for his loved one’s sake.

Woman missing for 3 days

“I think she was hiding. I think she was disoriented, paranoid, and just was hiding, and didn’t want to be found. And so no, I think if Max wasn’t there, she would not have been found,” said Justin Noppe, Sherry’s son.

Rescuers had to wheel Sherry out of the park and take her to the hospital. Yet, she seemed in good spirits despite everything she went through.

Missing woman and dog

Loyal Canine Saves the Day!

Justin and his sister Courtney believe that Max is a hero after what he did. Some dogs bark all the time, but Max’s barks helped save his human’s life. So, Max got a savory beef rib as a reward for his bravery.

“As they got closer to her, I think that’s what caused him to bark because he was protecting her. So I do think his barking is what led those people to hear him and go in that area and find her. So yes, I do believe he saved her life,” Justin said.

Dog saves woman in woods

RELATED: Lost Golden Retriever Spends Year Alone In The Woods

Courtney and Justin are very grateful that both Sherry and Max survived this scary incident. Sherry had a few cuts and bruises and was treated for dehydration. But other than that, she’s doing well. A vet looked at Max and confirmed that he was in good health. He also got a much-needed bath.

Max stayed by Sherry’s side for three days even though he had to sit through rain and heat with no food. He might not realize it, but he’s a hero for saving his human’s life!

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