File : A lick for luck - Joanne Lefson, Oscar, Allan Perrins from the SPCA and Cecil, spca dog who has since been adopted.

Cape Town - It has been revealed that Oscar the globe-trotting dog was accidentally run over by its owner.

Last Friday evening, Joanne Lefson was driving her friend’s truck at her home in California when the 10-year-old dog was caught under one of the wheels.

She rushed Oscar to the local vet, but the dog succumbed to his injuries and died minutes later from internal bleeding. Friends said Lefson was still distraught and was struggling to come to terms with losing her best friend of almost nine years.

Lefson rescued Oscar from the Cape of Good Hope SPCA in 2004. Since then, Oscar’s life has been one big adventure as the jet-setting canine explored some of the world’s most far-flung and exotic locations.

He’s done everything from paragliding from Lion’s Head to riding camels in Pakistan. And, with the help of an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas, he was even married to Lefson.

In 2009, he became the world’s first and only dog to travel around the globe. After selling her South African home, Lefson moved to the US last year. The unlikely duo spent their time promoting Oscar’s adopt-a-dog campaign, which encouraged pet-lovers to give homes to the many dogs waiting at animal shelters.

Oscar recently visited Times Square in New York where he appeared on television show Good Morning America. Allan Perrins, chief executive of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, said Oscar was a legendary dog. “He was like a modern-day Jock of the Bushveld to many people,” said Perrins.

Oscar has almost 15 000 likes on his Facebook page. Through a friend, Lefson said it was Oscar’s wish that people wanting to donate to the SPCA should rather a adopt a dog from their local shelter in his honour instead.

A memorial service is set to be held next Friday at the Cape of Good Hope SPCA at 3pm. Anyone who wants to attend, dogs on leashes included, can call Nicky Kirsten on 082 5633 133.

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Cape Argus