Kabosu, the Shiba Inu dog who became the face of the viral doge meme and inspired the creation of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin has died at the age of 18. Her owner Atsuko Sato shared the news with fans.

Kabosu, the Shiba Inu Behind the Doge Meme and Dogecoin Passed Away at 18

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Kabosu was rescued from a puppy mill in 2008 by Atsuko Sato, a teacher from Sakura, east of Tokyo. At the time Kabosu was facing the possibility of being put down.

In 2010 Sato posted a photo of Kabosu with her paws crossed on a sofa to her blog. The image quickly spread to the online forum Reddit, where it became a viral meme.

The meme typically featured the dog’s quizzical expression paired with comic sans text in broken English humorously representing her inner thoughts.

The doge meme pronounced like “dough” with a “j” sound became a cultural phenomenon. The image of Kabosu was shared and adapted with internet users across the globe.

Inspired by the viral meme, software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer created Dogecoin in 2013 as a joke. Dogecoin grew to become a major player in the cryptocurrency market.

Dogecoin reached a market capitalization of $23 billion, making it the eighth-most valuable cryptocurrency.

It gained attention and support from celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Gene Simmons as well as billionaire Elon Musk who often tweeted about Dogecoin. In 2023 Musk even changed the X home button to an image of Kabosu.

Kabosu was diagnosed with leukaemia and liver disease in late 2022. Despite her serious condition her owner shared that the “invisible power” of prayers and support from fans worldwide helped Kabosu pull through initially.

He passed away on May 24, 2024. Atsuko Sato described her final moments as peaceful, also said he was “quietly passed away as if asleep” while being caressed.

Sato expressed her belief that Kabosu was the happiest dog in the world and that she was the happiest owner.

A farewell party for him affectionately called “Kabo-chan” is scheduled for Sunday, May 26, at Flower Kaori in Kotsu no Mori, Narita City, from 1pm to 4pm.

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In November 2023, a $100,000 statue of Kabosu and her iconic sofa was unveiled in a park in Sakura. This was crowdfunded by Own The Doge, a crypto organization dedicated to the meme.

Sato and Own The Doge have donated over $1 million to international charities including Save the Children. This donation was recognized as the largest single crypto contribution the NGO has ever received.

The image became synonymous with the doge meme, characterized by colorful captions in comic sans font.

His meme fame reached new heights when she became the face of Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency launched in 2013 as a playful alternative to Bitcoin.

The doge memes cemented the status as an internet icon with users photoshopping her image onto various objects, animals, and even political figures.

With the meme adapted to comment on world events, pop culture news, and even used in advertising campaigns such as in Stockholm’s public transport authority.

His image transcended into the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with one sold in 2021 for a staggering $4 million.

Dogecoin gained popularity among internet communities and figures like Elon Musk, who supported its adoption as a form of payment.

Atsuko Sato, Kabosu’s owner and kindergarten teacher announced her passing with a heartfelt tribute describing her as “the happiest dog in the world.”

Sato plans to hold a farewell gathering to celebrate the dog’s life, providing an opportunity for friends, fans, and admirers to pay their respects to the beloved shiba inu.

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