Loyal Dog Praised As Hero For Staying With Lost Owner With Dementia For Three Days

Ashley Hunte
A black lab siting outside while panting.
Unsplash | Rayne Leach

I've said it before and I'll say it again: we don't deserve dogs. They're fiercely loyal companions who, for the most part, stick by our sides when we're in need of help.

For one 63 year old mother with dementia, her dog became her savior after alerting authorities of her location when she became lost in a park for three days.

Sherry Noppe, 63, of Katy, Texas, took her dog for a walk one day.

Green trees in a park while sun shines through the leaves.
Unsplash | Gayatri Malhotra

Noppe, who had been recently diagnosed with dementia, took her dog, a three year old lab named Max, for a walk in George Bush Park last Tuesday. Reportedly, she took a wrong turn, and completely vanished.

It's not uncommon for dementia patients to wander off, unfortunately.

A person in a hoodie walking down a misty beach.
Unsplash | - -

According to the Alzheimer's Association, six in 10 people with dementia will wander off at least once. It's as scary for the person with dementia, who will be lost and disoriented, as it is for their family.

Understandably, Noppe's family was incredibly worried when Sherry didn't come back from her walk with Max.

A hand holding a leash attached to a dog's collar.
Unsplash | Marek Szturc

Crews searched around the park, which spans a massive 7,800 acres, for three days before they found her last Friday in the early morning.

The reason why they found Sherry in the first place was Max.

A small dog mid-bark.
Unsplash | Robert Gramner

Max was reportedly barking and growling when the search crew came close, which is how they were able to locate both him and Sherry.

Amazingly, barking isn't something Max does very often.

A dog sleeping on a blanket.
Unsplash | Irina

“He’s not a barker, and I think something was coming, and he was like I got to protect her," Courtney Noppe explained. 

Max had stayed by Sherry the whole time, despite not having a leash.

In this case, making a sound was a very good thing.

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

Luckily, Sherry was still in good condition despite being lost in the woods for days.

A heavily wooded area with a dirt trail.
Unsplash | Lukasz Szmigiel

KHOU reports that when Sherry was found she only had a few minor cuts and bruises, and was able to avoid a trip to the hospital, instead resting at home.

It seems Max is doing just fine, too.

Sherry doesn't remember much about her time lost in the park.

A dog standing in the woods on a misty day in autumn.
Unsplash | Tadeusz Lakota

“She remembers a little bit. She said she just kind of took a wrong turn and got lost and got circled around, but after that, she doesn’t really remember much, kind of got disoriented," Justin told KHOU

This terrifying ordeal had a happy ending - just in time for Mother's Day.

A cartoon cat surrounded by flowers, hearts, and a humming bird as the words "happy Mother's Day!" fill the screen.
Giphy | Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Courtney went on to say, "I think it’s amazing what he did. It’s honestly a miracle for him to have stayed with her for three days and not left her side."

Reportedly, there's a steak dinner in Max's future.

A dog licking its chops.
Unsplash | James Barker

Max is a Labrador Retriever, which is considered one of the most loyal dog breeds out there. He definitely showed that loyalty last week when he stayed with his owner for days on end!

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

h/t: KHOU