Shiba Inu Kabosu, the face of ‘Doge’ meme coin and Dogecoin, has died

The dog that soared to internet fame and became the iconic face of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin has passed away.

The dog that inspired the famous “Doge” meme and a cryptocurrency has died at the age of 18, according to her owner.

Kabosu, a Shiba Inu, “fell into a deep sleep” on Friday morning, said Atsuko Sato, a teacher in Japan, in a blog post.

Kabosu became an internet celebrity after social media users spread a now-famous photo of the rescue dog that Sato posted on her blog in 2010.

Meme-makers added rainbow Comic Sans text over Kabosu’s side-eyed look and crossed-paws pose, capturing the pup’s inner dialogue with short, broken phrases like “much wow” and “such happy.

In 2010, Sato posted a photo of Kabosu giving a quizzical, side-eye expression on her blog. By 2013, the image had spread across the internet, spawning the “Doge” memes. These memes featured Kabosu’s image overlaid with words of amazement and wonder, meant to be the dog’s inner monologue, often in broken English, such as “much wow” and “such freeze, much frosty.”

In December 2013, inspired by Kabosu, two software engineers created the cryptocurrency Dogecoin. What began as a joke became the first “meme coin” and is now one of the top 10 most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world, with fans including billionaire Elon Musk.

“The impact this one dog has made across the world is immeasurable. She was a being who knew only happiness and limitless love,” the official Dogecoin account posted on X, formerly Twitter. “Please keep her spirit and her family in your heart, and most importantly carry her with you as your story continues—we are all fortunate for hers to have touched and shaped ours.”

In 2021, a non-fungible token (NFT) of Kabosu’s image sold for $4 million. She also became famous in her hometown of Sakura, where a bronze statue was unveiled earlier this year.

The coin was created as a joke to mock cryptocurrencies, but its value soared years later after Elon Musk, then the world’s richest person and a champion of Dogecoin, tweeted about it.

Musk joined those mourning the death of Dogecoin’s muse, Kabosu. The owner of the social media platform formerly known as Twitter posted a picture on X of Harambe, another late mammalian meme, hugging the dog in heaven.

Following Musk’s post, Dogecoin spiked 5%.

Kabosu had suffered recent health issues. In 2022, Sato revealed that Kabosu had been diagnosed with acute cholangiohepatitis, an inflammatory liver condition, and chronic lymphoma leukemia, a blood cancer.

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