In 2004, Oscar, an unusual looking mutt sat patiently at the Cape of Good Hope SPCA waiting for a second chance at a loving forever home. Luckily for him he was spotted by animal lover, Joanne Lefson and it was love at first sight. The bond between Joanne and Oscar was sealed from the moment he left the SPCA and he soon started to show his special almost human-like characteristics and became a permanent fixture wherever Joanne went. This helped him secure the title of Mutt of the Year that same year and would become the first of his many achievements.
With a new leash on life, Oscar decided to embark on a mission to raise awareness for his fellow furry friends for a second chance in shelters within South Africa and around the world. In 2009, Oscar set a canine record, becoming the first and only dog to travel around the world in what was dubbed The World Woof Tour. Joanne and Oscar visited 36 countries, travelled over 200 000 kilometers (twice the circumference of the Earth) and across five continents to make a bark about dog adoption and sterilisation.
In so doing, Oscar became the only dog to ever go ‘walkies’ on the Great Wall of China, and the only mutt to sniff out the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu (Peru) and Angkor Wat (Cambodia). He has survived the crocodiles in the Zambezi River, explored the borders of Pakistan on a rare double humped camel, kissed the Sphinx at sunrise, sailed above Rio in a hang glider, paraglided off Lion’s Head, zip-lined over the rain forests of Costa Rica and even made a wish in Rome’s Trevi Fountain. He has been arrested by the Italian Police, snuck across the Malaysian border, and escaped the deadly anacondas in the Amazonian Jungle. The territorial jet setter has lifted a leg over on most of the world’s most famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, the Parthenon, the Coliseum and Christ the Redeemer. Thanks to an Elvis impersonator, Oscar and Joanne even got married to each other in Las Vegas where they vowed to continue promoting dog adoption ‘until death do them part’.
Oscar has eaten currie and rice at the Taj Mahal, saluted the Statue of Liberty in New York and not surprisingly, had his notorious adventures splashed across the news around the globe including ABC News, Sky News and Carte Blanche to name just a few.
If you’re wondering what the part Alsatian-corgi-spaniel-cross with a little basset-hound mixed in-between mutt does when he’s not chasing cats, meeting Pluto in Disneyland or plotting his next exotic destination under the shadows of Table Mountain, well, that’s simple. He is snoring on his king size bed dreaming of a time when every dog will have its day – and a loving forever home of course!
The sky’s the limit for Oscar’s latest campaign aimed to raise even more awareness for South Africa’s underdogs. Log on to www.worldwooftour.com to read more about the Pedigree Adoption Tour with Oscar Maximus-coming to a skyline near you!
A dog who was dumped outside a fruit and vegetable store in Tokai and rescued by a shopper, took top honours in the 14th annual Cape of Good Hope SPCA Mutt of the Year held in Camps Bay on Saturday 2 May 2009.
Shenzi, a wire-haired mutt, wowed judges at the SPCA fundraising event with his gentle and charming nature and perfect obedient behaviour.
His owner, Lindy Croxford was overjoyed as she recounted the day she picked up Shenzi who was timidly hovering around the store, looking for scraps to satisfy his hunger.
“I tried to look away but just couldn’t. He was desperately thin but there was a sparkle in his eyes that said ‘please help me’ and I couldn’t refuse”, she said.
“Through lots of love and attention he’s been transformed into a very loving and caring dog, who is accommodating and protective of his family, which includes three other canine mates at our home in Noordhoek”, said Lindy.
From amongst the hundreds of dogs who turned out for the 2010 Royal Canin SPCA Mutt of the Year at Camps Bay High on 25 April 2010, the coveted title was awarded to Babooshka, a 6 ½ year old mutt who was found on Rondebosch Common five years ago with her left legs wired together.
Babooshka’s owner Pam Newby of University Estate saw her picture in the newspaper and knew that she had been “chosen” by Babooshka. Today the bond between them is palpable and the sweet-nature, black cross-Tibetan Terrier bears no grudges to anyone, despite the horrific abuse she had to endure.
“Before the event started I took Babooshka for her daily two hour walk in Newlands forest and told her that whether she won or not, she would always be my Mutt of the Year”, said Pam, who related to the competition judges that the little dog had become her shadow since the day she was rescued. “All dogs are wonderful friends, but those adopted from the SPCA and other animal welfare groups are just so appreciative of being given a second chance”, she said.
“They just want to be your bestest friend”, she said.