The real dog behind the "doge" memes has cancer

Kabosu, the real Shiba Inu that launched a million doge memes, has leukemia and liver disease. According to an Instagram post by Kabosu's human, Atsuko Sato, the 17-year-old dog's "liver level is very bad and jaundice appears. But antibiotics will definitely improve. Kabosu has an appetite. She can also drink water. To all of you who are worried, Thank you very much😊."

From NPR:

[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[…]

On Instagram, Kabosu's owner thanked the dog's fans for the outpouring of support, saying the pair were "getting power from all over the world."