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The Shiba Inu that inspired Dogecoin crypto and countless memes has died

Atsuko Sato is seen with her Japanese shiba inu dog Kabosu, best known as the logo of cryptocurrency Dogecoin, playing with students at a kindergarten in Narita, Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo, on March 19.
Philip Fong
/
AFP via Getty Images
Atsuko Sato is seen with her Japanese shiba inu dog Kabosu, best known as the logo of cryptocurrency Dogecoin, playing with students at a kindergarten in Narita, Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo, on March 19.

The dog that inspired the famous “Doge” meme and a cryptocurrency has died, according to her owner. She was 18 years old.

The Shiba Inu, named Kabosu, “fell into a deep sleep” on Friday morning, Atsuko Sato, a teacher in Japan, said 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 to her blog in 2010.

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

Thus, the meme called “doge” was born. The intentional misspelling is often credited to a 2005 episode of Homestar Runner, an animated comedy web series.

The meme found new fame with the launch of the 2013 cryptocurrency Dogecoin.

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

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.

Dogecoin spiked 5%after Musk's post.

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

Copyright 2024 NPR

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