Ten years ago, a Doge photo appeared on the net. Now she is 14 years old – she survived thousands of memes, a fake death and “her” cryptocurrency.
On February 23, 2010, a Japanese kindergarten teacher named Atsuko Sato took and uploaded several pictures of her dog, Shiba Inu Kabosu, to her personal blog. These were ordinary photos of the animal on the couch, except that in one picture Kabosu gazed intently at the mistress, as if raising her eyebrows.
As a result, it was this image that formed the basis of one of the most famous Internet memes – Doge. Over the next ten years, Kabosu and her mistress experienced the huge popularity of dogs, thousands of photojigs, rumors of death, and even cryptocurrency. Doge has gone down in the history of online culture forever.
In honor of the anniversary of the meme, the editorial board of Know Your Meme talked with Atsuko about the Internet popularity and the current life of the dog, which turned 14 years old. excerpts from the interview.
About the past and present Dog
Kabosu originally lived with the breeder along with 19 other Shiba Inu, but he went out of business. They wanted to euthanize them all: some of the dogs were killed, while others were saved by the animal welfare center.
At that time, two years passed, when my last dog died, and again I wanted to get a pet. I looked at the center’s website and found out about Kabos. 16 days after she was rescued from euthanasia, she became part of my family.
Kabosu and I now live in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture. Both before and after Internet fame, she lived a relaxed life. She has an important task – to stay at home while we are at work. She guards our apartment while she is napping on her favorite couch. Since I saved her, I don’t know the exact age of Kabos, but she is about 14 years old. She lives with three cats, and they get along very well.
How did that very photo meme appear?
Then I took a camera to update my blog. Every day I take a lot of photos, so at that time it did not seem to me something unusual. Kabos likes to be filmed, so she constantly looked at the camera.
After some time, my friend found the pictures on the news site and told me. When I found out about memes with Kabosu, I was very surprised. I was horrified at the thought that just one photo, which I accidentally took and published on a blog, can spread all over the world.
It was also added that in Japan at that time, in principle, we did not know very much about Western memes. Therefore, it seemed something unrealistic. Even now, few people know Doge.
Personally, I have a positive or negative attitude to memes – I’m just not very interested in them. But I love cute pictures, like those where Kabos is turned into bread.
How Meme Helps Other Animals
I started making souvenirs with the Doge image, but donated money from sales to animal welfare organizations. I decided on this in the hope that the other dogs that are being rescued will be as happy as Cabosu. Now this money goes to eight different organizations.
Every year I travel with Kabosu to meet people. At first, souvenirs were constantly brought to us, but I said: “Please donate it not to Kabos, but to dogs that need help.” From that moment we began to conduct charity events under the symbol of Doge.
About Dogecoin cryptocurrency and Doge’s death rumors
I am glad that Kabosu is the face of Dogecoin cryptocurrency. I am not very good at this, but I heard that Dogecoin is used for donations. So I am proud that my dog is involved in this.
When in 2017 there were rumors about the death of Kabosu, then I laughed. This kind of news appeared so many times that I could only laugh. Sometimes I’m too busy to update my Instagram, or I only publish cats, and they ask me: “Has the dog died?”. It always throws me into shock.
About Doge’s Internet Heritage
The thought “Cabosu is Doge” still seems a little unrealistic to me. But in October 2019, we were invited to the [cryptocurrency conference from the Ethereum Foundation] in Osaka, where there were many foreign guests. And they kept shouting my dog’s name! Seeing how they approached her, asking for a pat, I felt gratitude to all Doge fans.
I am glad that the life of a dog that was saved from death can forever remain in the memory of people. And be remembered as a dog that is loved throughout the world.
In Japan, many became interested in Kabos through my blog, and then they took the dogs from the shelter to their families. I think Kabosu was born with just such a mission.
View this post on Instagram
There have been fake news of Kabosu’s death so many times, but she is fine. She’s not dead, she’s here right next to me. I don’t post on Instagram often, but you can check her days in my blog. http://kabochan.blog.jp/ Please check out her days with 3 cats. Then you can laugh off the fake news. #かぼすちゃんとおさんぽ #doge