Earlier this year, Joanna Lefson found Rupee struggling to survive at a dumpsite in Ladakh, Northern India. According to the Daily Mail, Rupee was only eight weeks old, but was already suffering from dehydration and starvation.
“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,” said Lefson to the Daily Mail.
But with time, love, and a high protein diet, Rupee recovered and became strong enough for rescuer and guardian Lefson to take him with her to Mount Everest.
The trip was originally planned for Lefson and her famous globetrotting dog, Oscar, who was also a rescue. Together, they traveled the world, raising awareness about homeless dogs in need. Sadly, he passed away in January after being hit by a truck.
“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 and, it might just make it to the top of the world too,” said Lefson.
“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,” Lefson added.
Rupee has certainly achieved a lot so far in his young life – recovery from near death and now, a historic climb to Mount Everest! According to the Daily Mail, it’s believed that Rupee is the first dog to officially make it to a Mount Everest base camp.
Rupee and Lefson made the 10-day trek up Everest with a small team of porters and guides and filmmaker Dev Argarwel of Mumbai, who filmed the expedition that took them all 17,000 feet above sea level.
“A memorable part of the trip was seeing Rupee touch and walk on snow for the first time, he loved it,” Lefson said. “He played in it at every opportunity, chased it, and even tried to chew it at times.”
A big congrats to Rupee for making it all the way to the top — what an inspiring journey and a remarkable rescue pup!
Image source: TIME / Caters News Agency