The real-life dog behind memecoin DOGE is seriously ill

Kabosu, the Shiba Inu dog behind the face of Dogecoin (DOGE) and the “doge” meme is in a “dangerous position” healthwise, according to her owner.

In a Dec. 26 Instagram post that was then shared on Twitter, Atsuko Satō, a Japanese kindergarten teacher and Kabosu’s owner said the rescue dog was in a “dangerous” state, but assured her followers that she will “absolutely fine” and is “getting power from all over the world” (translated) from supporters.

Satō pictured with an ill Kabosu. Image: Instagram

The news brought an outpouring of support from followers. One Twitter user sending well wishes offered to fully cover “any expenses needed to make sure she gets the best treatment.”

The co-creator of Dogecoin, Billy Markus, in a Dec. 26 tweet asked his two million followers to send “[love] and [prayers] and good vibes” to Satō and Kabosu.

Satō didn’t disclose what health complications Kabosu is facing, but in an earlier post said that Kabosu has been sick since Christmas Eve, refusing to eat or drink.

It should be noted that Shiba Inu dogs have an average life expectancy of between 12 to 15 years and Kabosu celebrated her 17th birthday earlier in 2022.

A picture of Kabosu from Satō’s blog in 2010 inspired the viral “doge” meme format.

The original picture that kicked off the “doge” meme. Image: Satō’s blog.

Eventually, the popularity of the meme sparked the 2013 creation by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer of what’s considered the first “meme coin,” Dogecoin, which the pair said they created as a joke.

Kabosu is a popular figure in the crypto world, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin also visited Kabosu and Satō in their Tokyo apartment in 2018.

Buterin and other Ethereum team members pictured with Kabosu. Image: Satō’s blog.

Dogecoin remains popular

Despite being created as a joke and coming into its 10th year of existence, Dogecoin remains hugely popular within the crypto world.

DOGE is the 8th largest coin with its nearly $10.4 billion market capitalization according to CoinGecko data and saw a volume of over $332 million in the last 24 hours.

Related: Turkey has an obsession with crypto — Specifically Dogecoin: Study

Dogecoin was the second most searched crypto on Google behind Bitcoin (BTC) averaging 5.85 million monthly worldwide searches in 2022.

Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter had many Dogecoin users hopeful that he would integrate DOGE on the social media platform causing the price to rally on the news.

Musk has been a longstanding proponent of Dogecoin and at one point, before he admitted it wouldn’t be feasible, planned to charge Twitter users 0.1 DOGE to post on the platform in a bid to cut down on scam posts.

Dogecoin has sparked a variety of similar dog-themed cryptocurrencies such as Shiba Inu (SHIB), Dogelon Mars (ELON), and Floki (FLOKI), which is inspired by Musk’s Shiba Inu called Floki.