(CNN) — Kabosu, the internet famous dog who inspired the “Doge” meme and influenced digital culture for a decade, is seriously ill with leukemia and liver disease.
The 17-year-old Shiba Inu “voluntarily stopped eating and drinking” on Christmas Eve and was diagnosed with acute cholangiohepatitis and chronic lymphoma leukemia, according to a series of Instagram posts from her owner Atsuko Sato, a kindergarten teacher in Sakura, Japan. was detected. ,
While Sato said Kabosu’s appetite had returned, he previously blogged that the dog was moving less and less slowly.
Kabosu became one of the most recognizable animals on the Internet when a 2010 photo of him with bowed legs and a derisive expression sparked Reddit, Tumblr, and 4Chan using comic sans text scribbled in broken English. covered with a fanciful interior monologue. , Internet users soon began photoshopping Kabosu’s face into pastels, landmarks, and other animals. The meme was later co-opted by brands like Oreo and the Stockholm Metro.
The popularity of the “dog” meme was cemented in December 2013, when two programmers introduced an alternative cryptocurrency called Dogecoin as a tongue-in-cheek response to bitcoin that reflected the internet’s love of animal memes. Was. It peaked at over $400 in value in 2014 and is considered the first “meme coin” or satire of crypto.
Elon Musk is a fan and Dogecoin has sponsored England’s Watford Football Club, with Kabosu’s face appearing on the team’s jersey sleeve.
Kabosu’s legacy can also be seen in the popularity of other Shiba Inu-related memes that grew in popularity in the 2020s, including a pro-Ukrainian social media movement dedicated to Russia’s war effort and countering misinformation. Also included is the North Atlantic Fellas Organization.
After raising funds for the Ukrainian military, the country’s defense ministry tweeted its thanks with a photoshopped image of a Shiba Inu in uniform.
In Sato’s most recent post about Kabosu, he said the dog was in “very dangerous condition” and had been diagnosed with jaundice, but was also taking antibiotics. He thanked Kabosu’s fans for their support, saying he was “getting strength from all over the world.”