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The dog who inspired Dogecoin has died

<i>Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource</i><br/>The late Kabosu pictured with her owner Atsuko Sato in Chiba prefecture
Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource
The late Kabosu pictured with her owner Atsuko Sato in Chiba prefecture

By Anna Cooban, CNN

London (CNN) — Kabosu, the dog that launched a thousand “doge” memes, has died, her owner announced Friday.

The Japanese shiba inu “fell into a deep sleep” on Friday morning at 18 years of age, Atsuko Sato wrote in a blogpost.

“Outside the window, birds were singing on a beautiful morning. As I was touching her, she gently passed away,” wrote Sato, a kindergarten teacher in the Japanese city of Sakura. “I think she was the happiest dog in the world.”

Kabosu became one of the most recognizable animals on the internet back in 2010 when a photo of her posing with folded paws and a quizzical expression spread across forums such as Reddit.

That sparked a proliferation of “doge” memes, based on an intentional misspelling of the word “dog,” with internet users photoshopping Kabosu’s face onto pastries, landmarks and other animals.

The popularity of “doge” memes was cemented in December 2013, when Kabosu became the face of alternative cryptocurrency Dogecoin — a tongue-in-cheek response to Bitcoin that reflected the internet’s love of animal memes. Other meme tokens followed, including a shiba inu coin.

Dogecoin counts Elon Musk among its fans. In May 2021, he polled his millions of followers on Twitter on whether Tesla should accept the cryptocurrency as payment.

A month earlier, when cryptocurrencies were seeing a surge in popularity, demand for Dogecoin spiked so much that it briefly broke the cryptocurrency trading system of Robinhood, a stock trading and investing platform.

An X post by Dogecoin Friday called Kabosu the community’s “inspiration.” “The impact this one dog has made across the world is immeasurable,” the post read.

Sato said in a series of Instagram posts in 2022 that Kabosu had leukemia and liver disease. She is planning to hold a “farewell gathering” on Sunday.

Mai Nishiyama contributed reporting.

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