Jet-setting Oscar Travels the World – Sometimes by Balloon!

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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 at the Grand Canyon
A dog-eye view of the world

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!


Oscar and Joanne Lefson with the crew

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.


Oscar in the Netherlands

“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 in India

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.”

Oscar at the Eiffel Tower

“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.”

Oscar at a cathedral in Germany

“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.”

Oscar at the Golden Gate Bridge

“I want to change perceptions of shelter dogs being old, abused and disturbed animals. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Oscar in Malibu

3 thoughts on “Jet-setting Oscar Travels the World – Sometimes by Balloon!”

  1. I heard this story this morning on “GMA” with Lara Spencer’s “POP NEWS” segment, & I was instantly “In Love.” As the “Proud Mama” of not only two human kid’s, but also of three scrumptous furry four legged babies, at the impressionable ages of 4,3, & 2. Our 4 yr old & 3 yr old was a package deal,if so we wanted both, come on who could say no? not us. Even though we just had our 3 yr old Australian/Shepherd Mix, & don’t have a lot of extra space, we were IN LOVE, & their was no turning back, & even though we thought we were getting at that time a 2 yr old full breed German Shepherd BIG BABY BOY, that was not the scenario..haha..I have to laugh a little at that. Well when the Husband & Wife Couple arrived at our home (I will get back to my baby the 3 yr old) out came two dogs..WOW…German Shepherd, & out came the most gorgeous Chocolate Labrador Retriever,(the then 14 month old) I had fallen in love with both already. Were they enormous to me at first? Ugh absolutely!!! We’ve always had BIG dogs,they just looked shockingly larger. Ok, so we got them inside of our large fenced in backyard,so we could see what we had just agreed to(haha) the then owner’s said they were going to have to give them up, because they just didn’t have enough room outside (& thinking to myself,outside? well that’s not an option here) they went on to say that they were looking for a good home & we came highly reccomended, awesome. Try to shorten this as much as possible,but its a sweet story. We went on to talk with couple (husband & me & our two leged kids) We were basically there last option, before they were going to have to take them to the ANIMAL SHELTER. They proceeded on to say if we couldn’t take both,they understood, are you kidding me? You can’t show someone these gorgeous babies & say choose, or & you already know what’s going to become of the other. No..No..No, I pull my husband to the side & said you know its going to be REALLY crowded in our house right? But I say, there is NO WAY I can separate them, that just saddened me to tears. He’s like I know..I know. so I were taking two dogs, Luke he hadn’t even thought it to be any differently. So my husband says, well they both have a home here,if that’s ok with you sir? I was already in backyard joining in on the fun with the other kids.
    Bless her cute little heart though our 3 yr old Aust.Shep. “Ginger” was hiding underneath the patio table scared & shaking, I thought ohhhh noooo, what are we going to do? Ginger had just lost her G.S. sister about 6 months prior,so she had been around BIG dogs before?? Well took about an hour but she warmed up & was running around the yard playing, having fun with her thankfully new brother “Jerry Lee” now 4 yr old G.S. & “Baylee” now 2 yr old C.Lab. It was just beautiful,& heart warming. Ginger had also been a similar situation,all except we adopted her from our good friend which is a Veterinarian, that had a friend getting ready for arrival of 1st child & his wife was pretty much making him get rid of sweet,tender hearted,Ginger, that happens to be WONDERFUL with kids,especially loves little children. They didn’t give her chance, but we were glad to make her a part of our family, & she’s loving life, they all 3 are, being indoor only babies, only going out when “they want to” so funny those little rascals. The moral of this story, was for me to hopefully open your mind & heart to the many,many wonderful dogs,cats out there in shelters,that didn’t ask or deserve to be put on “DEATH ROW”, because someone has no room for them,or doesn’t think a dog or cat can be a good blend with your family. You need them as they need you. So rather than spending large amounts of money on a pet, PLEASE CHECK OUT YOUR LOCAL,STATE ANIMAL SHELTERS, BECAUSE THEIR IS A PET OUT THERE READY FOR YOUR LOVE & HEART. LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, REPORT ANYONE THAT IS ABUSING A PET, DON’T JUST THINK SOMEONE ELSE WILL, IT’S YOUR DUTY TO REPORT ABUSIVE PET CRUELTY, & YOU WILL BE THE ONE THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE & DEATH, IT’S YOUR CIVIL RESPONSIBILITY!!!!!!! Thanks for letting me share my “Love Story.”
    ~Jen D.~


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