On May 3 63-year-old Sherry Noppe head out with her black Lab Max on the lead for an afternoon walk from their home in Katy, Texas. When they didn’t return, her family grew concerned, as she had recently been diagnosed with dementia. After they contacted law enforcement, thousands from the community went out to search for Ms Noppe, until eventually they found her – all thanks to Max’s barking.

She was brought home just in time for Mothers’ Day.

Ms Noppe’s daughter Jessica, 39, told TODAY they were elated to have the pair home, adding: “My mum is doing great.

“She had a bunch of cuts all over and she was suffering from dehydration, but at this point, she’s back to normal.

“Everything’s healed up really well. She’s in good spirits.”

Max had suffered a scab on his nose and a cut on his foot, but was “healing up well”.

The 3-year-old lab is described as an energetic “goofball” by his family.

Daughter of Sherry Noppe, Courtney Noppe, 34, said: “Where they were located, there’s lots of wild hogs out there. And snakes.

“It was his bark that they heard, and as they got closer, he kept on barking at them.”

When the pair were brought home, Max slept for an entire day.

Jessica Noppe said: “We feel like he was awake out there the entire time for three days — wide awake, protecting her.

“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.”

It isn’t known why Ms Noppe removed Max’s collar.

Jessica Noppe said: We’re still trying to learn about Alzheimer’s and dementia ourselves.

“We’re learning that sometimes episodes can happen and we are not sure she really understood what was happening at that point.”

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