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Dog That Inspired ‘Doge’ Meme Dies at 18 – Variety

The Shiba Inu, Kabosu, became the basis for the logo of the Dogecoin cryptocurrency
By Todd Spangler
NY Digital Editor
Much sad: Kabosu, the real-life Shiba Inu that was the basis for the popular “doge” internet meme — and became the face of the logo of the Dogecoin cryptocurrency — died Friday at her home in Japan. She was 18.
“On the morning of the 24th of May, Kabosu crossed the rainbow bridge. Thank you all so much for your support over the years,” her owner, Atsuko Sato, said in a post on Instagram. “She went very peacefully without suffering, as if falling asleep while feeling the warmth of my hands petting her.” Sato confirmed Kabosu’s death in an email to the New York Times.
According to the Know Your Meme website, the doge meme featured the Shiba Inu in photos that “may be photoshopped to change the dog’s face or captioned with interior monologues in Comic Sans font. The primary meme and iconography associated with Doge was the Shiba Inu named Kabosu, whose photos taken by her owner Atsuko Sato in early 2010 went viral across the internet.” Per the site, the use of the misspelled word “doge” to refer to a dog dates to June 24, 2005, when it was mentioned in an episode of Homestar Runner’s puppet show.

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Fans of the doge meme and Dogecoin included multibillionaire Elon Musk — who last year temporarily changed the logo of X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, to the Dogecoin icon. The Dogecoin blockchain and cryptocurrency was created as a joke in 2013 to mock other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
On Friday, Musk posted a meme showing Kabosu being embraced by an angel-winged Harambe (the late gorilla at the Cincinnati zoo who also spawned an internet meme). “OG Doge has ascended to heaven to be with [her] friend Harambe,” Musk wrote.
The official X account of Dogecoin commemorated the passing of the world-famous Shiba Inu in a post Friday. “Today Kabosu, our community’s shared friend and inspiration, peacefully passed in the arms of her person. The impact this one dog has made across the world is immeasurable. She was a being who knew only happiness and limitless love,” it said.
In 2022, Sato said Kabosu had been diagnosed with “chronic lymphoma leukemia, a type of cancer, and acute cholangiohepatitis, a condition that inflames the liver and surrounding area,” per the Times.
Sato announced the death of Kabosu on her Instagram account @kabosumama:

A post shared by かぼすママ (@kabosumama)
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