Stray dog becomes first to climb Mount Everest

AOL Travel

A homeless dog rescued from a dump is thought to be the first dog in the world to climb Mount Everest. (photo: Caters)

Rupee made history after scaling the world's tallest mountain with his owner Joanne Lefson, who both reached the iconic Everest base camp.

Rupee, the first dog ever officially recorded at the camp, undertook the gruelling challenge against all odds after being rescued by Joanne from a dump site in Ladakh, Northern India.

At just eight months old the plucky pup was dying of dehydration and starvation when he was adopted by Joanne.

She said: "When I saw him on that dumpsite he couldn't have had more than an hour to live. He couldn't even walk ten metres without collapsing.

"The little fellow had heart, I could tell that - but he was very weak from having no food and water for days, perhaps weeks."

Joanne previously hit the headlines after travelling the world with Oscar - the famous globetrotting dog. Scroll down to see some of his photos from around the world.

The pair visited hundreds of famous landmarks raising awareness for needy pups until Oscar sadly died in January this year following a car accident.

Joanne adopted Rupee and fed him on a high protein diet of boiled eggs and rice.

First dog climbs Mount Everest
First dog climbs Mount Everest

The courageous canine made a remarkable recovery and it was then Joanne decided to undertake the expedition to Everest, which was originally planned with Oscar, with Rupee by her side.

Having originally been born in the Himalayas, Rupee's vet confirmed that the pooch would not suffer from altitude sickness despite being more than 17,000 ft above sea level.

The pair were joined by Dev Argarwel, a film maker from Mumbai, who agreed shoot the expedition.

The trio flew to Delhi and entertained a quick visit to the Taj Mahal before arriving in Kathmandu and setting off to base camp the following day.

Along with porters and guides, Rupee and Joanne managed to complete the gruelling climb to base camp in just ten days.

Joanne said: "My greatest concern was wondering if Rupee could actually make it. I prepared for the worst and arranged an extra porter just in case Rupee needed to hitch a ride.

"A memorable part of the trip was seeing Rupee touch and walk on snow for the first time, he loved it.

"He played in it at every opportunity, chased it and even tried to chew it at times.

"There were many tourists climbing the mountain at the time and they couldn't believe that a dog was heading to Base Camp. They were jealous they hadn't brought their dogs with them for walkies too.

"Oscar will never be replaced and it's been difficult trying to pick up the pieces but the one thing that keeps me going is honouring his legacy and working towards the day when every homeless dog will have a forever home.

"Oscar gave a face to the masses and made us realise that even when just one dog is adopted, we may not change the world but it will change the world for that animal forever and, it might just make it to the top of the world too.

"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."

Related articles

Family seeks justice after pet dog poisoned on Cornwall beach

Firefighters rescue dog from flood waters