Hero Dog Leads Rescuers to Mother with Dementia Who Was Lost in Woods for Three Days


Lifestyle

 By Amanda Thomason  May 10, 2022 at 4:12pm

A family in Harris County, Texas, was extra thankful for their mom this Mother’s Day after she went missing for three days in George Bush Park.

Sherry Noppe lives in a neighborhood that backs up to the 2,700-acre park, and though she has been diagnosed with dementia, the park was a deeply familiar place to her.

The last time she was seen before going missing was on surveillance video from Tuesday night, as she walked to the park with the family dog, Max, a black Labrador retriever.

When she didn’t come home, the search was on. For three days and through horrible weather, strangers, family, friends and authorities searched for the woman.

They used drones, helicopters, ATVs and a K-9. The tracking dog picked up the woman’s scent and the search teams turned off their vehicles to hear better.

That’s when they heard Max barking. With no leash on, the loyal dog had stayed by Noppe’s side until help arrived.

Constable Ted Heap is relieved to report Sherry Noppe, missing since Tuesday, has been found in George Bush Park. She was located at approx. 3am Friday by a group of tireless volunteers and deputies who were alerted by the sound of her dog, Max, barking in the woods. #hounews pic.twitter.com/ZKOOjldJ94

— Harris County Pct 5 (@HCpct5) May 6, 2022

“And we knew when that dog barked — there should be no dogs out there – that was her,” Michael England, a family friend, told KBMT. “She wasn’t severely disoriented or severely out of it, but definitely lost, and didn’t know what to do.”

Around 3 a.m. on Friday, search teams located Noppe 50 to 100 yards off the trail with Max at her side. She was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Katy, where she was treated for minor injuries — cuts, bruises and dehydration.

Here’s a pic taken of Max shortly after the rescue!!

Family just shared this photo of the sweet & loyal hero w/ my colleague @KHOUStephanie whose taking over the story for me for noon — be sure to tune into #KHOU11 @ 12p for latest & follow @JMilesKHOU for more @ 4,5,6pm! @KHOU pic.twitter.com/LCqIQPcUsw

— Michelle Choi (@MichelleKHOU) May 6, 2022

“The person out there I know that was searching for her informed me they had found her and I didn’t believe it,” Noppe’s daughter Courtney said. “I said I want a picture and I got that picture and I started calling everyone, and it’s the greatest news I could have ever gotten.

“She’s doing surprisingly well for how long she’s been out there and the conditions that we were expecting. The heat. The rain. So we’re very grateful for that.”

Noppe’s family has expressed their thankfulness to the community that rallied around them and didn’t call off the search even when the going got tough.

“I’m grateful for them not giving up, for pushing on,” Courtney said. “They really were committed.”

“It’s been a blessing to us to bring our mother home on Mother’s Day — this weekend’s going to be very special for us,” son Justin Noppe added.




They’re also incredibly thankful for their four-legged hero Max, who they say saved their mother’s life.

“With Max, 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 was our brother’s dog, he passed away two years ago … He’s the last thing that we really have of him … To get them both back is a silver lining.”

Max has since been checked over by a vet and is scheduled to get a nice bath and a steak dinner for his lifesaving efforts.

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.

She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.

With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.

Location

Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking

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