Oscar the dog has more stamps in his passport than most humans. He has visited over 30 countries with his owner, Joanne Lefson, and they’re not planning on stopping any time soon. Most recently the pair crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and toured the Grand Canyon by helicopter.
Oscar’s many journeys almost didn’t happen. Just a day before he was scheduled to be euthanized, the half-British Lefson rescued him from a South African kennel. Eight years later, and the jet-setters have hit Germany, India, Russia, Tanzania, Cambodia and Argentina. They have tackled the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of China, and have covered nearly 100,000 miles – twice the circumference of Earth!
But the globe-trotters’ lifestyle isn’t all glamour. Lefson sold her home in 2009 to finance their journeys to five continents, all in the name of raising awareness about homeless dogs. They have visited over 20,000 animal shelters. Lefson says she won’t stop until every dog has a home.
“An estimated half a billion dogs on the planet are homeless,” Lefson explained. “When they’re adopted, we’ll unbuckle our seat belts and put our paws up.”
Oscar doesn’t seem to mind the extensive travel a bit.
“Oscar loved the helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon; he seemed a little disappointed there weren’t any crocs in the Canyon but anxiously watched at every turn for the odd animal to visually chase,” Lefson said. “During the balloon ride he barked his brains out. There must be something about all that fire in the sky that makes him barking mad.”
“It’s a miracle he’s still even alive though. If I hadn’t gone to the kennel that fateful day Oscar would have had one more day left and would have been put down.”
“When I discovered what a wonderful dog Oscar was it broke my heart to think how many Oscars are still out there and simply just don’t get that second chance.”
“I want to change perceptions of shelter dogs being old, abused and disturbed animals. Nothing could be further from the truth.”