The Real Life Pup Behind The "Doge" Meme and Dogecoin Logo Has Died — What to Know

Our thoughts are with Kabosu's humans during this difficult time.

Lauren Wellbank - Author

May 24 2024, Published 2:16 p.m. ET

Source: kabosumama/Instagram, Getty Images

Fans of the popular "doge" meme and Elon Musk's subsequent cryptocurrency "Dogecoin" will be saddened to learn that the loveable Shiba Inu dog behind the photo has passed away. Her human parent shared the heartbreaking news with a poem on her blog, which has been translated from its original Japanese and shared around the world.

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Continue reading to learn more about Kabosu the beloved "doge" dog, where the meme started, and how she made her way across the rainbow bridge.

Kabosu on the face of Dogecoin
Source: Getty Images
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Kabosu, the doge who inspired the "doge" meme, has died.

The sweet-faced pup who became famous for her side-eye captured hearts online in 2010 when a photo of her went viral and became a popular meme on Tumblr, per Know Your Meme.

According to People Magazine, the pooch got a second 15 minutes of fame in 2013, when the viral photo turned her into the official face of the Dogecoin cryptocurrency. Then, Kabosu's star power rose even higher in 2021, when her picture was turned into a non-fungible token (NFT) that sold for 4 million dollars.

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Atsuko Sato, Kabousu's pet parent, wrote a fitting tribute to her beloved companion on her blog, and it describes the dog's death as peaceful. "While I stroke you, like sleeping, she passed away quietly," she wrote in part. The poem described Kabosu as "the happiest" dog in the world and herself as "the happiest person" in the world for having known her.

The sweet pup had been battling leukemia and liver disease, something Sato had announced to her followers back in 2022.

Sato said that she plans to honor Kabosu with the first of two celebrations of life on Sunday, May 26th at Flower Kaori in Kotsu no Mori in Narita City. Visitors are welcome to attend the event, which she says will run from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Sato added that she also plans to hold a second and more upbeat event once the weather cools down.

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What was Kabosu's age?

The Shiba Inu was believed to be 18 when she died, something that is considered old for the breed, according to the Dogster blog, which notes that these pups tend to live between 13 to 16 years. In February 2024, Sato sat down with the French outlet AFP to talk about Kabosu, which is when she shared that she didn't know the dog's true age since she was a rescue but believed her to be around 18 years old.

While Kabosu may have lived a longer life than other dogs, we're sure that it still feels impossibly short to those who loved her. Hopefully, her human mom finds comfort in knowing that she's not grieving Kabosu's life alone since the sweet dog touched the lives of so many during her time on earth.

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