Kabosu dies: Shiba inu which inspired the ‘doge’ meme and became face of Dogecoin has died

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Kabosu, the dog behind the “doge” meme, has died at the age of 18 after enjoying more than a decade of internet fame.

The Japanese shiba inu 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.

“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 us much love to us.”

Ms Sato, a teacher in Japan, adopted Kabosu in 2008 when she was sent to an animal shelter after her puppy mill shut down.

Kabosu became an internet sensation when a 2010 photo of her with crossed paws and a slight smirk spread on Reddit and Tumblr.

A Reddit user referred to the image as “Doge” – the intentional misspelling of dog a nod to a 2005 episode of Homestar Runner.

The doge meme became popular in 2013. Coloured Comic Sans text overlays the photo, with broken English phrases like “Wow. So scare” and “What r u doing?” surrounding Kabosu.

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

Kabosu is also the face of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin, which was originally created as a “joke” currency and is the sleeve sponsor of Watford Football Club.

For a few days in April the Dogecoin logo was used as the icon for the Twitter home button.

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