The adorable Shiba inu who inspired the “doge meme” that spread to everything from a controversial cryptocurrency to British soccer jerseys is gravely ill with leukemia and liver disease, her owner said Wednesday.
The 17-year old dog, Kabosu, stopped “eating and drinking voluntarily” on Christmas Eve and was diagnosed with chronic lymphoma leukemia and cholangiohepatitis, her owner Atsuko Sato, of Sakura, Japan said on Instagram.
Kabosu is “in a very dangerous condition” and was placed on antibiotics after she appeared to be jaundiced, said Sato, who thanked her fans for support and said she’s getting “power” from them.
The sweet-faced pooch — who became the posterdog for the Elon Musk-backed satirical cryptocurrency Dogecoin — first became an internet star when a hilariously wide-eyed photo of her folding her paws and looking anxious went viral in 2010.
The meme features the dog’s would-be inner monologue floating next to her head with phrases such as “so scare,” “concern” “what you doing.”
Her furry mug later appeared in marketing by Oreo, popped up in the Stockholm subway system and was printed on England’s Watford Football Club jerseys.
Two computer programmers then introduced an alternative cryptocurrency dubbed Dogecoin as a as a spoof on Bitcoin in 2013. But its value shot up by 100% when billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk cryptically tweeted “dogecoin barking at the moon” in April 2021, signaling to followers it may have real value.
Kabosu’s image also appeared in new memes that went viral in the 2020s along with an image tweeted by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, thanking supporters for military funds with a photoshopped image of the dog dressed as a soldier.