Meet Rupee, he’s a former stray dog that just made history by becoming the very first dog in the world to climb Mount Everest! Found starving in a dump in Northern India, his owner, Joanna Lefson, decided to rescue him and nurse him back to health by feeding him a high protein diet that consisted of boiled eggs and rice. Slowly, he built back his strength and soon he was so strong he was able to climb mountains. Now, he’s the very first dog on record to climb Mount Everest, trekking side by side next to Lefson for 10 days to base camp, which is 17,000 feet above sea level.
Because Rupee was born in the Himalayas, he did not suffer from altitude sickness like most dogs would. “There were many tourists climbing the mountain at the time and they couldn’t believe that a dog was heading to Base Camp,” said Lefson.
The owner said Rupee could barely walk when she first found him. At just eight months old, the puppy was dying of dehydration and starvation. She told the Daily Mail, ‘When I saw him on that dumpsite he couldn’t have had more than an hour to live. He couldn’t even walk ten meters without collapsing.” She continues, “The little fellow had heart, I could tell that but he was very weak from having no food and water for days, perhaps weeks.”
If the name Joanne Lefson sounds familiar, you may remember her as the proud owner of Oscar, the globetrotting dog. Oscar passed away in January this year when he was hit by a truck. The expedition up Everest was originally planned with Oscar, but after he passed away, Lefson adopted Rupee and somehow knew he could do it.
“Rupee is simply an extension of Oscar’s legacy and a fine example of what can be achieved when a homeless dog is given a second chance,” she said.