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 Cheems’ virality is one of them. But August 18, 2023, was a sad day as the internet’s goodest boi took his last breath. The ‘pawsome’ Shiba Inu, Cheems Balltze, who captured the hearts of millions across the internet, passed away at the age of 12.

Cheems became a global sensation when his memes went viral on the internet. Tributes have been pouring in for the sweet doggo from all over the world on Instagram and Twitter. His owners shared the emotional announcement on his official Instagram account, stating that his journey came to a poignant end during surgery. The famous canine, known as Pup Balltze, was battling pancreatic cancer and he ‘fell asleep‘ during his last thoracentesis surgery. “Originally, we wanted to arrange chemotherapy or other possible treatment for him after this operation, but it is too late now,” wrote his owners.

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The owners further encouraged people to continue remembering him fondly, “Don’t be sad, please remember the joy that Balltze brought to the world. A Shiba Inu with a round smiling face connecting you and me, he has helped many people during the pandemic and brought a lot of joy to many of you, but now his mission is complete. I believe he is running freely in the sky and having a lot of delicious food with his new friends. He will always be inside my heart. I hope he can continue to bring joy to everyone in the online world, that’s my only humble request.”

Through this heartfelt post, they also thanked the doctors and medical staff who did an amazing job taking care of ‘Ball Ball’ for the past 6 months.

cheems balltze ball ball instagram content creator iconic pose

From Balltze To Cheems

Balltze was adopted when he was just one year old by Kathy in Hong Kong. She believed that he was very photogenic and would upload pictures of the Shiba Inu’s daily mood and cuteness. Balltze catapulted to fame in 2017 when a rather comical photo of him became an iconic meme, used to express discomfort or weakness in particular situations. The dog’s website made by his owner, narrates how he got his meme stage name.

On September 4, 2017, I was sitting casually just like any other day, laying my back on marble steps and ‘snap snap’ my mom took my photos and uploaded it online. Instagram user Josh comments about my post: I don’t know who this guy is but he looks like Cheese,” mentions the website. And that’s how, along with his love for cheeseburgers, Pup Balltze subsequently came to be known as “Cheems”, a distorted pronunciation of ‘cheeseburger‘. One of his best-known meme appearances is Swole Doge vs. Cheems.” Cheems’ fame only grew as the years went by and he amassed 824k followers on Instagram.

Netizens Pour In With Tributes

Understandably, Cheems’ demise triggered a wave of sadness on the Internet, with many users condoling the death of their favourite meme dog. “RIP buddy, you brought a lot of people happiness,” posted an Instagram user. “Was Balltze a good boy? He was the best,” added another.

Raining praises on the beloved doggo, a netizen said, “He is a legend of the Internet world, a meme founder and now, he is immortal. Rest in love sweet Ball Ball, you were and are loved by billions all over the world.”

His legacy will live on forever, thanks for everything ball ball,” expressed a sad user. “Sleep good Cheems, thank you for the laughs little buddy,” commented another. “My condolences, you gave him a wonderful life and brought joy to millions in the process, bless you in these hard times,” said a user addressing the owners.

Trying to hold my tears. Eat lots of treats, play and run free over the rainbow. And thank you and your family for bringing us so much joy. You’re our legend forever. Rest in peace,” a user posted a heartfelt message for Cheems. “Balltze literally changed my life,” wrote another.

A deeply hurt user commented on the Instagram post “I was introduced to this legend through a meme trend. It’s hard to hear about his passing a few years later. He helped many people get through 2020 and so on. His meme trend will live on to honour his life and the joy he gave everyone through these memes. Sleep well king, you will be missed.”

The Shiba Inu sensation stands out as a prime example of the power of visual humour to transcend boundaries and connect people across the globe. Cheems’ journey through the digital realm serves as a testament to the far-reaching influence of internet memes.

Here’s hoping that the internet’s goodest boi is getting all the treats and belly rubs in doggo heaven!