Kathmandu : Slumdog mountaineer! A homeless eight-month-old Indian dog named ‘Rupee’ has scripted history by becoming the first canine to reach Mount Everest Base Camp. Rupee, the first dog ever officially recorded at the Everest Base Camp at 5,364 metres, undertook the gruelling challenge against all odds after being rescued by Joanne Lefson from a dump site in Leh.
The puppy was dying of dehydration and starvation when he was adopted by Lefson from South Africa last September, media reports said. Lefson previously hit the headlines after travelling the world with Oscar, the famous globe-trotting dog. The pair visited hundreds of famous landmarks raising awareness for needy dogs until Oscar sadly passed away in January this year following a car accident.
Lefson found Rupee and adopted the canine, thus began their travels and now Rupee has become the first dog to reach the Everest Base Camp. “This dog came running for me and collapsed at my feet, a puppy on his last legs,” Lefson was quoted as saying by South Africa’s Independent Online news portal. “The puppy couldn’t have been in a lower place. The little fellow had heart, I could tell that, but he was so weak having no food or water for days, if not weeks,” Lefson said.
After eight-and-a-half days, facing snow delays, rainstorms, mudslides and a yak attack en route, Rupee and Lefson reached the Base Camp, before a galloping three-and-a- half-days back down. The team summited Base Camp on October 26 and a pair of embroidered prayer flags were tied, “with the wish that the gods above will bestow a home on all the homeless dogs below”.
“The trek to the top of the world was done in Oscar’s honour,” an emotional Lefson said. “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 was quoted as saying. “In fact preparing for the worst, I arranged for an extra porter just in case Rupee needed to hitch a ride,” Lefson said. “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.