The source of a meme is often unknown to the audiences that consume them as they seem to take off overnight creating a life, or many lives, of their own.
Kabosu the Shiba inu dog, known to most as “Doge,” is one of those stories. According to CNET, the pup first rose to fame in 2010 when her owner began blogging about the 5-year-old rescue dog.
In one now-famous photo, Kabosu was laying on a couch with her paws crossed with a very concerned look on her face.
From that photo came many iterations of memes, and in 2013 the joke went just one step further by becoming an actual cryptocurrency. The currency was created by two software engineers, CNET reported and had an unlimited supply—unlike Bitcoin which has a maximum supply of 21 million. CNBC reported that as of Monday, Dogecoin has a market value of over $34 billion, making it the No. 10 cryptocurrency by market value according to CoinGecko.
On Tuesday, the famous pup behind it all turned 16 years old, according to a post from Kabosu’s owner.
In an Instagram post from earlier this year, Kabosu’s owner spoke about the dog’s rise to fame.
“Never in a million years would I have imagined the impact that my photoshoot of Kabosu would have on the internet,” @kabosumama wrote. “It’s a moment that’s evolved and taken on a life of its own over the last decade—being shared millions of times and creating an entire community around the Doge meme.”
Of course “Doge” is not the only meme that has taken off and spiraled into a life of its own.
Most people who’ve spent any time on the internet are familiar with the “Disaster Girl” meme. It’s an image of a young girl standing in front of a burning house with a mischievous look on her face.
The little girl in the photo, who is now in her 20’s, sold the original copy of the meme as a nonfungible token, or NFT, for nearly half a million dollars, according to The New York Times.
Zoë Roth told the Times that selling the meme was a way for her to take control over a situation that from the time she was a little girl and the image first began to circulate, she has felt powerless over.
Before making the decision to sell she spoke to people who have received similar fame: Kyle Craven, the face behind “Bad Luck Brian” and the mother of “Success Kid,” Laney Griner.
She told the Times she would use the money from the sale to pay off her student loans, donate to charity—among other things.