A dog called Rupee was dying from dehydration and starvation when Joanne Lefson found him in a dump site in Northern India. But only months later, the handsome mutt has made history.
He's the first dog officially recorded at Everest Base Camp, according to iOL News. And he made the climb in honor of Lefson's late dog, Oscar, who was killed in a car accident in January.
Lefson, who is from South Africa, rescued Oscar in 2004, just days before he was scheduled to be put down, according to the Telegraph. Five years later, the pair set off on a journey around the world to raise money and awareness for shelter dogs. Their adventure, known as the "World Woof Tour," took them across five continents and 36 countries, according to Lefson's book "Ahound The World: My Travels With Oscar." Climbing Mt. Everest was supposed to be the final leg of their journey.
In January, while on a trip to San Jose, Calif., Oscar was hit by a car, according to the Telegraph. Lefson did not disclose the details of the accident, but wrote a poignant Facebook post to announce the news.
Lefson says that finding Rupee just months after Oscar's death seemed fated.
"Dogs [in Northern India] are afraid of people," she told iOL News, "but [Rupee] ran to me with a purpose. Perhaps Oscar had sent him to me to stop my tears.”
Rupee and Lefson's trek lasted eight-and-a-half days, according to iOL News. They reached Base Camp on October 26, and set up a pair of embroidered flags in honor of homeless dogs.
Through the climb, Lefson had one faithful friend in mind.
“Oscar gave a face to the masses and made us realize that even when just one dog is adopted, we may not change the world, but it will change the world for that animal forever," she told iOL News. "Rupee is an extension of Oscar’s legacy, a fine example of what can be achieved if a dog is given a second chance."
H/T The Daily Mail