The internet has produced some memorable tidbits and memes over the years, but none have been as wholesome – or as cute – as the iconic “doge meme’ of an adorable Shiba Inu with fractured words and phrases sprinkled around it.
While the rise of the doge meme has brought nothing but smiles and laughter to countless people lurking around on the internet, the backstory of the Shiba Inu in the meme prior to internet stardom was anything but happy.
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The Verge did a serious investigation into the origin of the doge meme and uncovered a story that would rival any comic book superhero.
The adorable little Shiba Inu, Kabosu, was originally a pedigreed dog born in a puppy mill in Japan. The puppy mill was eventually shut down and since that line of business doesn’t exactly produce the most moral of characters, the former owners abandoned Kabosu and her siblings and left them to die.
While most abandoned dogs don’t survive, Kabosu was luckily rescued by an animal shelter… only to be scheduled for a trip to a farm up north to be with Ol’ Yeller.
But as fate would have it for a second time, Kabosu was saved from an early trip to the pearly gates when a Japanese kindergarten teacher, Atsuko Sato saw the Shiba Inu and decided to adopt her in November, 2008.
Given the lack of love Kabosu experienced during her early days, Sato wanted to shower her new Shiba Inu with love, which translated to “Imma take a lot of photos of my dog and share them to the internet on my blog.”
As for when the transition from pet to internet fame happened, the fateful photo which eventually became the centrepiece of the “doge meme” was shared to the blog by Sato on February 23, 2010, some three years before the internet stumbled upon it and propelled it to meme royalty.
However, Sato isn’t just using her popular doge blog (it’s one of the most popular pet blogs in Japan) to pimp out Kabosu for internet points. In addition to constant updates on Kabosu (who we’re happy to report is still doing really well) and her two cats, she’s also trying raise awareness about the awfulness of puppy mills and adopted pets.
So unlike many origin stories, this one about the doge meme ends on a happy, wholesome note. If there’s a moral to this story it’s that puppy mills are bad and if you’re going to adopt a dog, make sure you spam the internet with photos of said doge because you might’ve adopted the next big meme.
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