Very sad, much love: Shiba inu, famous for the ‘Doge’ meme and face of the $31 billion cryptocurrency, dies

Very sad, much love: Shiba inu, famous for the ‘Doge’ meme and face of the  billion cryptocurrency, dies

TOKYO – The Japanese dog whose photo inspired a generation of bizarre online jokes and the $23 billion Dogecoin cryptocurrency beloved by eccentric billionaire Elon Musk died on May 24, his owner said.

“She passed away silently, as if she were asleep, while I was petting her,” Atsuko Sato wrote on her blog, thanking fans of her Shiba Inu named Kabosu, the face of the “Doge” meme.

“I think Kabo-chan was the happiest dog in the world.

“And I was the happiest owner,” Sato wrote.

As a rescue dog, Kabosu’s true birthday was unknown, but Sato estimated his age to be 18 years old, beyond the average lifespan of a Shiba Inu, and his birthday fell in November.

In 2010, two years after adopting Kabosu from a puppy mill where she would otherwise have been euthanized, Sato took a photo of her pet crossing its paws on the couch.

He posted that image (with the fluffy Shiba Inu giving the camera a seductive look) to his blog, from where it spread to the online forum Reddit and became a meme that bounced from college dorm rooms to email chains. of the offices.

The memes generally used ridiculous, broken English to reveal the inner thoughts of Kabosu and other “doge” Shiba Inu, a word that comes from the misspelled “dog” and is pronounced like pizza “dough” but with a “j” at the end. final.

The image was also later turned into a non-fungible symbolic digital artwork that sold for $4 million and inspired Dogecoin, which started as a joke by two software engineers and is now the eighth most valuable cryptocurrency with a capitalization of $23 billion market.

‘Amazing’ events

Dogecoin has been endorsed by hip-hop star Snoop Dogg, Shark Tank entrepreneur Mark Cuban, and Kiss bassist Gene Simmons.

But its most enthusiastic supporter is probably Mr. Musk, who jokes about the coin in X (causing its value to skyrocket) and hails it as “the people’s cryptocurrency.”

Dogecoin has also inspired a host of other cheap and highly volatile memecoins, including Shiba Inu and others based on dogs, cats or Donald Trump.

Kabosu fell ill with leukemia and liver disease in late 2022, and Sato said in a recent interview with Agence France-Presse at his home in Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, that the “invisible power” of The prayers of fans around the world helped her get through.

Sato, 62, said he had become so accustomed to “unbelievable” events that when Musk changed the Twitter icon, now X, to Kabosu’s face in 2024, “he wasn’t even that surprised.”