One of Internet's Most Famous Dogs Is Seriously Ill

Kabosu, 17-year-old shiba inu who spurred 'doge' meme, has leukemia, liver disease, says owner
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2022 8:04 AM CST

You may not know her name, but if you've spent any time on the internet over the past decade, you almost certainly know her face. Kabosu, the shiba inu from Japan who became the face of dogecoin and graced countless "doge" memes, turned 17 in October, which is past the usual 12 to 15 years that shiba inus usually live. Kabosu seems to be on the decline, however: Her owner, kindergarten teacher Atsuko Sato, announces the pup now has liver disease and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In a series of Instagram posts, Sato shows a weak-looking Kabosu cuddling with her and the family cat.

"Right now, the liver level is very bad and jaundice appears," Sato writes in her latest post from Tuesday. She adds, however, that Kabosu is able to eat and drink, and that antibiotics will hopefully help her current condition improve. Last week, Sato had blogged that her pup "has a great appetite and is very energetic, but it is taking a lot of time to walk, eat, and take care of various things."

Kabosu's popularity kicked off in 2010 when a photo of her spread across Reddit, 4Chan, and Tumblr, spurring memes that included an "imagined inner monologue in broken English using scattered Comic Sans text," as CNN Business puts it. The "doge" meme even ended up on dogecoin, a satirical cryptocurrency meant to jab at bitcoin. Sato says she's grateful for fans now offering Kabosu their well wishes. "To all of you who are worried, Thank you very much," she writes on Instagram, adding that Kabosu is "getting power from all over the world!" (A "doge" meme NFT has sold for millions.)

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