Famous Dogecoin dog, Kabosu, dies aged 18

Kabosu rose to fame in 2010 when a photo of her went viral (AFP via Getty Images)
Kabosu rose to fame in 2010 when a photo of her went viral (AFP via Getty Images)

The famous Japanese shiba inu dog, Kabosu, has died aged 18.

The internet sensation, best known for the Doge meme, had been suffering from leukaemia and liver disease.

"To all of you who loved Kabosu, on the morning of the 24 May, Kabosu crossed the rainbow bridge. Thank you all so much for your support over the years," Atsuko Sato, her owner, wrote on Instagram.

Ms Sato added: "She went very peacefully without suffering, as if falling asleep while feeling the warmth of my hands petting her. Thank you all so much for loving Kabosu all these years.

"I am certain Kabosu was the happiest dog in the world. That makes me the happiest owner in the world.

"I would like to express my deepest appreciation to everyone who has sent much love to us."

Ms Sato, a Japanese kindergarten teacher from the city of Sakura in the Chiba Prefecture, adopted Kabosu in 2008 after she was sent to an animal shelter after her puppy mill shut down.

Kabosu rose to fame when a 2010 photo of her with crossed paws, tilted head and a smirk went viral on Reddit and Tumblr.

The original image, which is still online, was originally uploaded by Ms Sato on her blog.

The image was shared online, often with captions in the comic sans font expressing faux amazement, usually including “wow”, “amaze”, and broken English such as “so frost, much cold”. The captions were intended to be the dog’s internal monologue.

A Reddit user referred to the image as "Doge" - the intentional misspelling of dog which was a nod to a 2005 episode of Homestar Runner.

In 2021, the "Doge" meme sold as a non-fungible token (NFT) for $4m (£3.2m).

The Doge image is also part of the logo of the Dogecoin blockchain and cryptocurrency, which was originally created as a joke currency in 2013 — to mock other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

In April, the Dogecoin logo replaced the iconic Twitter bird logo.

Dogecoin paid tribute to the dog on X, describing her as a "being who knew only happiness and limitless love".

Ms Sato said a "farewell party" will be held for Kabosu on May 26 at Flower Kaori in Kotsu no Mori, Narita City.