You know the formula: Comic Sans font, different colours, and terrible grammar. What’s more ‘amaze’ than the success of the doge meme is the story of the Shiba Inu whose visage has dominated the web. Her name is Kabosu (Japanese for ‘fruit’), and she wasn’t always so happy.
Kabosu lived a puppy mill alongside 19 other Shibas. When the mill closed down, it seemed like the end of her story. Many of her friends didn’t make it, but Kabosu was one of the lucky few to find a loving family. In 2008, kindergarten teacher Atsuko Sato gave Kabosu a loving home alongside her two cats. Fans of the lucky doge can keep up with her adventures on Atsuko’s blog.
A Random Rise to Fame
No one really knows why this picture of Kabosu turned into one of the most popular memes of all time. It certainly wasn’t what Sato had in mind when she created her blog. In fact, she recalls feeling ‘so scare’ when her beloved pup’s face started proliferating across the web, on everything from seals to bread to the Doge of Venice (an actual person in history). Kabosu eventually became the face of the virtual currency Dogecoin, which helped fund everything from cancer charities to the Jamaican bobsled team’s appearance at the Winter Olympics.
A Day in the Life of Kabosu
Since her rescue, Kabosu has enjoyed a life filled with love and adventure. She explores her local town, meeting and playing with other dogs, kids, and passer-bys who can’t resist petting her remarkably round head. On rainy days, she enjoys indoor fun with Sato and her husband and cats Ginnan and Tsutsuji. Shiba Inus can be difficult to raise. They’re free-spirited, strong-willed, and aren’t afraid to show it. But Kabosu is relaxed, gentle, and fond of the camera. When she’s not playing or eating, she’s curled up for a comfortable nap, often with her paws crossed, an adorable trait that many Shibas display.
A Bright Future for Shiba Inus
While the doge trend began to decline in mid 2014, Kabosu’s sideways stare still populates millions of search results. More importantly, her popularity has helped raise awareness of puppy mills and generate interest in Shiba Inus worldwide. Other Shibas like Maru have also found a large internet following, appearing on television and public events. Another dog(e) named Inuyama Shibao even anchors his own news program, and we’d no doubt watch it over the regular news.