Rescue dog becomes first canine at Mount Everest Base Camp

Nov. 13, 2013 at 5:09 PM   |   Comments

DINGBOCHE, Nepal, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- An 8-month-old dog rescued from an Indian dump site by a South African woman has become the first canine to reach Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal.

Joanne Lefson of Cape Town said Rupee, the dog she adopted when he was discovered dehydrated and malnourished at a Leh, India, dump site in September, accompanied her to the Everest South Base Camp in Nepal Oct. 26 and became the first canine officially recorded at the 17,598-foot-high base camp, the Cape Argus, Cape Town, reported Wednesday.

Lefson, who previously made headlines for visiting international landmarks with her previous dog, Oscar, said Rupee's accomplishment was performed to honor Oscar, who died following a road collision in January.

"The trek to the top of the world was done in Oscar's honor," Lefson said.

She said she tied up a pair of prayer flags at base camp "with the wish that the Gods above will bestow a home on all the homeless dogs below."

"The most difficult part of the planning wasn't so much all Rupee's paperwork, although a nightmare at times too, but, rather, my greatest concern was wondering if he could actually make it to the top," Lefson said. "In fact preparing for the worst, I arranged for an extra porter just in case Rupee needed to hitch a ride."

However, Lefson said Rupee was up to the challenge of the difficult hike.

"A memorable part of the trek was seeing Rupee touch and walk on snow for the first time, playing, chasing and chewing it at every opportunity," she said.

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