A Shiba Inu who earned global fame for starring in a viral meme is sick with leukemia and liver disease, her owner says.
In a series of Instagram posts this week, Atsuko Sato, a teacher who lives in Japan, said the 17-year-old pooch was in “a very dangerous condition” after being diagnosed with acute cholangiohepatitis, a type of inflammation in the digestive system, and chronic lymphoma leukemia, a blood c*ncer.
“Right now, the liver level is very bad and jaundice appears,” Sato wrote in one caption. “But antibiotics will definitely improve.”
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The dog, known by the name “Kabosu,” had stopped eating and drinking over the weekend but was beginning to get her energy back, Sato said.
Kabosu, a rescue dog, became an internet sensation after social media users began resharing a photo posted to Sato’s personal blog in 2010.
Kabosu’s smirking face, side eyes and crossed paws were a hit online, often overlaid with comic sans text depicting what might be her inner dialogue. Users began referring to the image as “doge” and a global meme was born.
According to internet lore, the term “doge” first appeared in a 2005 episode of “Homestar Runner,” an animated web-based comedy series.
But the misspelled moniker took on another meaning in 2013 with the emergence of a titularly-branded cryptocurrency, Dogecoin.
The currency — which was supposed to be a joke — spiked in value years later when Elon Musk, the richest man on earth at the time, tweeted “Dogecoin is the people’s currency” and “no highs, no lows, only Doge.”