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Kabosu, the iconic Japanese dog who inspired Dogecoin, passes away at 18

Kabosu became an internet sensation in 2010 when a picture of her went viral, leading to the popular "Doge" meme that inspired "Dogecoin". Last year, Elon Musk briefly replaced Twitter's logo with an image of Kabosu, causing the value of Dogecoin to skyrocket.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Tokyo Updated on: May 24, 2024 14:12 IST
Kabosu, Shiba Inu, dogecoin
Image Source : X Kabosu, the Shiba Inu dog who inspired dogecoin.

Kabosu, the iconic Shiba Inu dog who inspired the viral "doge meme" and the cryptocurrency Dogecoin, passed away on Friday at the age of 18. The Japanese dog had been suffering from leukaemia and liver disease, after enjoying a decade of internet fame as the face of the viral "Doge" meme that later became Elon Musk's favourite cryptocurrency.

"Today Kabosu, our community's shared friend and inspiration, peacefully passed in the arms of her person. The impact this one dog has made across the world is immeasurable. She was a being who knew only happiness and limitless love. 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," said Dogecoin on X.

Kabosu's owner Atsuko Sato announced that the dog passed away peacefully without any suffering and announced a farewell party on Sunday (May 26). She said in a blog post that Kabosu “was the happiest dog in the world” and the owner felt like they were the “happiest person to have her.”

The Japanese Shina Ibu dog became an internet sensation in 2010 when a picture of her with crossed paws and a slight smirk spread online. A Reddit user referred to the image as "Doge" - the intentional misspelling of dog a nod to a 2005 episode of Homestar Runner. It inspired the cryptocurrency Dogecoin, initially meant as a joke. However, it later sparked the launch of several other dog-themed cryptocurrencies.

Elon Musk changed Twitter logo with Kabosu's photo

Last year, Elon Musk changed the logo of Twitter with the popular photo of Kabosu, causing the price of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin to skyrocket. According to The Sun, Kabosu was adopted by Atsuko Sato from an animal shelter in 2008 after she had been abandoned by a puppy mill along with 19 other Shiba Inu dogs. Her name is derived from a type of Japanese citrus fruit.

Further, Twitter's CEO also shared the screenshot of a conversation between him and the anonymous account where the latter was asking to change the bird logo to "doge." Sharing this post on Twitter, Musk wrote, "As promised." The said discussion took place on March 26, 2022.  

In a 2013 interview, Atsuko said she was "taken aback" by Kabosu's online fame. "Kabosu is very different from the typical temperament of Shiba. She’s very gentle and calm. She loves being photographed. She was not loved when she was little, so I want to shower her with love as a member of my family," she said.

Musk, who has been very vocal about the meme-based crypto, also dubbed himself as the 'Dogefather' in an April 2021 tweet, causing Dogecoin prices to surge by 20 per cent. The cryptocurrency was invented by software engineers Billy Markus from IBM and Jackson Palmer from Adobe, as a joke.

Netizens mourn Kabosu's death

Kabosu was diagnosed with cholangiohepatitis and chronic lymphoma leukemia in 2022. Her passing marked the end of an era for meme enthusiasts and the cryptocurrency community. "RIP to the legend Kabosu, thank you for all the memes," one user wrote on X.

"Today, we come together with heavy hearts to bid farewell to an internet legend, an embodiment of joy, and a symbol of kindness - Doge, the beloved Shiba Inu known as Kabosu. The Doge who touched millions of hearts is now one amongst the stars, wagging her tail looking down at the legacy she has left," wrote Own The Doge page on X.

ALSO READ | Sudden change in Twitter logo with Doge sparks hilarious memefest

ALSO READ | Twitter logo changed: Elon Musk replaces blue bird with infamous 'Doge' meme | Details inside



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