Max, a three-year-old Labrador retriever, faithfully safeguarded Sherry Noppe for three whole days barking until rescuers could track them down.
A three-day search for a missing Texas lady led to her rescue thanks to a silly – and chivalrous – Labrador retriever.
On May 3, Sherry Noppe leashed her black Lab, Max, and they went out for a midday stroll from their home in Katy, Texas. When they didn’t return, her husband and grown-up kids became concerned – primarily because the 63-year-old of late had been diagnosed with dementia.
They reached out to law enforcement, and the local area immediately mobilized. Volunteers with the nonprofit Alpha Search and Recovery deployed search canine groups. At the same time, those with Texas EquuSearch set out riding horseback to brush the region quickly. Thousands of people contributed to help.
On May 5, two search canines picked up on her scent. Searchers that night continued on from where the canines left off. Hours later, as they approached a thickly wooded region in George Bush Park in Houston, they heard a dog barking.
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It was Max!
Very early on the morning of May 6 – only two days before Mother’s Day – Noppe’s younger daughter Courtney grabbed her phone as it rang.
“Someone that was out there called me around three in the morning and said that they had found her,” Courtney Noppe, 34, told TODAY. “I asked if she was alive and asked, ‘Send me a picture.” Once she saw the photo, Noppe started calling family members.
The Noppe family is delighted to be brought together with Noppe and Max, who received medical care before a cheerful Mother’s Day celebration altogether, as per Jessica Noppe, 39.
“My mom is doing great,” she told TODAY. “She had a bunch of cuts all over and she was suffering from dehydration, but at this point, she’s back to normal. Everything Is healed up really well. She’s in good spirits.”
Likewise, Max is also getting along nicely, she said. “He just has a little bit of a scab around his nose and he had a cut on his foot that’s healing up well.”
Max, who is three years old, is a typical fun-loving, energetic ‘goofball,’ according to the sisters.
“He sees you and he’s like, ‘That’s my friend!’ — jumping on you to greet you,” Courtney Noppe said. “He loves everyone and everything.”
However, he transformed into a brave hero during the crises, including days filled with rain and extreme heat.
“Where they were located, there’s lots of wild hogs out there. And snakes,” she said. “It was his bark that they heard, and as they got closer, he kept on barking at them.”
Once back home safely, Max took a well-deserved nap that lasted nearly an entire day.
“We feel like he was awake out there the entire time for three days – wide awake, protecting her,” Jessica Noppe said. “When they left, he had a leash and collar on. And when they came back, his leash and collar were both gone. So he stayed with her the whole time with no leash and no collar on.”