KATY, Texas — It will be a mother’s day to remember for one Katy family – after their own mom, lost in the woods for three days, has now been found.
Her pup Max is credited with saving her life.
For 3-year-old Max, barking is not really his thing - unless, he needs it.
“He’s not a barker, and I think something was coming, and he was like I got to protect her," Courtney Noppe said.
“When they actually found her, they heard him growling and barking," Justin Noppe said.
Max was with 63-year-old Sherry Noppe, a Katy mother, recently diagnosed with dementia. She left to take Max for a walk Tuesday afternoon, and then, she was gone.
“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 said.
For nearly three days, crews searched around Noppe’s home, which backs up to the nearly 8-000 acre George Bush Park.
Even without a leash, Max stayed by her side the entire time.
"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.
Early Friday morning, the two were found by his bark.
“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," Justin said.
With only minor cuts and bruises, Sherry is home recovering. Max is still by her side.
“I think it’s amazing what he did. It’s honestly a miracle for him to have stayed with her for 3 days and not left her side," Courtney said.
As you can imagine, Max was exhausted as well. He was checked out by a vet and is now getting very special treatment with new toys and endless treats. We're told a tomahawk steak is in his future.
If you’re concerned about a loved one, suffering from a cognitive disability that might make them wander from home, there are programs that can help. HCSO’s LifeSaver project provides tracking devices that can be worn on their wrist or ankle.