Kabosu, the Shiba Inu who inspired the ‘Doge’ meme, dies at 18

Kabosu, the Shiba Inu breed that inspired the viral “doge” meme and later became the face of the Dogecoin cryptocurrency, has died. She was 18 years old.

The owner of the beloved dog, Atsuko Sato, shared on his blog that Kabosu died peacefully in his sleep on Friday morning. According ABC NewsKabosu died at 7:50 a.m. after falling “into a deep sleep.” The dog mom added: “She left very calmly without suffering, as if she fell asleep while she felt the warmth of my hands caressing her.”

Sato added that he will host a “farewell” party in Kabosu’s honor on Sunday.

Kabosu gained global fame in 2013 after his face became the face of cryptocurrency. So much so that Kabosu inspired the launch of the Dogecoin cryptocurrency that same year. Then in 2021, an NFT (non-fungible token) featuring Kabosu’s face sold for a whopping $4 million.

Sato, a kindergarten teacher in Japan who referred to her puppy as Kabo-chan, had previously shared that Kabosu was 2 years old when she rescued her. She told the Japanese outlet. Ashahi Shimbun Earlier this year, Kabosu, who was nearly euthanized before being rescued, enriched her life in several ways.

Atsuko Sato pays tribute to Kabosu, the shiba inu who inspired the iconic doge meme.getty
Kabosu, the dog that inspired the famous doge meme, photographed on March 19, 2024 in Tokyo, Japan.getty

“Since Kabosu came to my house, a series of miraculous things have happened that have enriched my life and given me a treasure of priceless moments,” he told the outlet, via NBC News.

Kabosu’s death comes four years after he was diagnosed with leukemia and liver disease. Sato documented Kabosu’s health journey on Instagram. Last December, Sato shared that amid the diagnosis, Kabosu’s “liver level is very bad.”

Sato also shared on his blog: “Thank you all so much for loving Kabosu all these years. I’m sure Kabosu was the happiest dog in the world. That makes me the happiest owner in the world.”


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