In the ever-evolving world of social media, there have been few instances that have managed to capture the collective imagination of the audience and the “Dogememe dog‘s virality is one of them. But May 24, 2024, was a sad day as the internet’s goodest boi took her last breath. The ‘pawsome’ Shiba Inu, Kabosu who captured the hearts of millions across the internet, passed away at the age of 18.

Kabosu fell ill with leukaemia and liver disease in late 2022. Her owner, Ms Atsuko Sato said in a recent interview that the “invisible power” of prayers from fans worldwide helped her pull through. Kabosu inspired the billion-dollar “Dogecoincryptocurrency, loved by Elon Musk.

Doge meme japanese dog Kabosu shiba inu passes away viral Dogecoin crytptocurrency

Dogecoin was started as a joke by two software engineers and is now one of the world’s most valuable cryptocurrencies. The Japanese Shiba Inu became a global sensation when her “doge” memes went viral on the internet. Tributes have been pouring in for the sweet doggo all over social media. 

The Doge meme was pretty big on the internet in 2013 and I spent a lot of time on Reddit and other forums back then,” said Dogecoin co-founder Billy Markus. Ms Sato penned Kabosu’s passing in her blog post. “To all of you who loved me, really, thank you very much. She quietly passed away as if asleep while I caressed her. I think Kabo-chan was the happiest dog in the world, and I was the happiest owner. Kabo-chan is still smiling, wagging her tail,” she wrote.

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Remembering Kabosu

Kabosu was a rescue dog, hence her real birth date was unknown, but Ms Sato estimated her age at 18. She was adopted in 2010. Two years after adopting Kabosu from a puppy mill where she would otherwise have been put down, Ms Sato took a picture of her pet crossing her paws on the sofa. She posted the image on her blog, which spread to Reddit and social media and became a popular meme.

The “Doge” Memes

In October 2010, the concerned-looking ‘Shiba Inu’ turned up on Reddit, captioned “LMBO LOOK @ THIS DOGE.” Shortly after this, Reddit users began uploading Doge Memes of Kabosu in different costumes and forms. From college classrooms to office email chains, the doge meme dog was everywhere! Let’s take you through some of our favourites:

The memes typically used goofy broken English to reveal the inner thoughts of Kabosu or showcased her in different costumes and forms, such as the Loaf of Doge:

Doge meme japanese dog Kabosu shiba inu passes away viral Dogecoin crytptocurrency loaf of doge

In 2012 the ‘Shiba Confessions’ Tumblr page was launched which depicted Doges with their interior monologues expressed in multicolour, comic sans font:

Doge meme japanese dog Kabosu shiba inu passes away viral Dogecoin crytptocurrency

Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, publically endorsed Dogecoin with a series of funny posts on X:

Doge meme japanese dog Kabosu shiba inu passes away viral Dogecoin crytptocurrency elon musk X

That’s how much Musk loves Dogecoin. This meme recreates the iconic The Lion King scene:

Doge to Dogecoin

Kabosu’s picture also became an NFT digital artwork later that sold for $4m (£3.1m) and inspired Dogecoin. It is the eighth-most valuable cryptocurrency now, with a market capitalisation of $23bn. Hip-hop star Snoop Dogg and Kiss bassist Gene Simmons have backed Dogecoin. But billionaire Elon Musk has been its most keen supporter.

He jokes about the currency on X – sending its value soaring, and hails it as “the people’s crypto“. Musk also changed the icon for X, to Kabosu’s face last year. Her owner Ms Sato said she had become so used to “unbelievable” events that she “wasn’t even that surprised” when that happened. Dogecoin paid tribute to Kabosu, acknowledging the profound impact the dog had on their community and the world.

Doge meme japanese dog Kabosu shiba inu passes away viral Dogecoin crytptocurrency

A $100,000 statue of Kabosu and her sofa crowdfunded by “Own The Doge,” a crypto organisation dedicated to the meme, was unveiled in a park in Sakura in November last year. Sato and Own The Doge have also donated large sums to international charities. The NGO says it is “the single largest crypto contribution” it has ever received. Kabosu’s meme and influence continue to inspire, with plans for Doge-themed products and media, ensuring her legacy endures.

Netizens React

The urge to keep petting Kabosu is too strong. Reacting to this post, one user said, “Rest in peace, Kabosu. Your charm and spirit inspired a revolution in memecoins, showing the world the power of community and humor in the crypto space. You will be missed, but your legacy lives on.” Another user commented, “she will be remembered as long as dogecoin exists.” A third user wrote, “I was so happy to follow this doge, I hope it will continue to make people smile forever.”

Here’s hoping that the internet’s goodest boi is getting all the treats and belly rubs in doggo heaven! A farewell party for Kabosu will be held on Sunday, May 26, at Flower Kaori in Kotsu no Mori, Narita City.