Kabosu, the Shiba Inu Who Inspired the 'Doge' Meme, Dead at 18


The beloved dog who inspired the 'doge' meme died in her sleep, her owner Atsuko Sato shared in a sweet poem.

Kabosu, the Shiba Inu breed who inspired the viral "doge" meme and later became the face of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin, has died. She was 18.

The beloved dog's owner, Atsuko Sato, shared on her blog that Kabosu died peacefully in her sleep on Friday morning. According to ABC News, Kabosu died at 7:50 a.m. after falling "into a deep sleep." The dog mom added, "She went very peacefully without suffering, as if falling asleep while feeling the warmth of my hands petting her."

Sato added that she'll be throwing a "farewell" party in Kabosu's honor on Sunday.

Kabosu earned worldwide fame in 2013 after her face became the face of cryptocurrency. So much so, Kabosu inspired the launch of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin later that year. Then, in 2021, an NFT (non-fungible token) featuring Kabosu's face sold for a whopping $4 million.

Sato, a kindergarten teacher in Japan who referred to her pup as Kabo-chan, had previously shared that Kabosu was 2 when she rescued her. She told the Japanese outlet Ashahi Shimbun earlier this year that Kabosu, who came close to being put down before she was rescued, enriched her life in a number of ways.

Atsuko Sato paying homage to Kabosu, the shiba inu who inspired the iconic doge meme. - Getty
Kabosu, the dog that inspired the famous doge meme, pictured on March 19, 2024 in Tokyo, Japan. - Getty

"Ever since Kabosu came into my home, a series of miraculous things have happened, enriching my life and gifting me with a treasure trove of priceless moments," she told the outlet, via NBC News.

Kabosu's death comes four years after she was diagnosed with leukemia and liver disease. Sato documented Kabosu's health journey on Instagram. This past December, Sato shared that, amid the diagnosis, Kabosu's "liver level is very bad."

Sato also shared on her blog, "Thank you all so much for loving Kabosu all these years. I am certain that Kabosu was the happiest dog in the world. That makes me the happiest owner in the world."