World-famous meme dog dies in Hong Kong — RT Games & Culture

A dog at the center of an Internet craze has died aged 12 in Hong Kong.

Cheems, also known as Balltze or Ball Ball, became famous for his mischievous look which sparked many viral memes. He was diagnosed with leukemia in December 2022 and had been under treatment since, but died on Friday after a thoracentesis.

The owner announced the sad news on social media, saying the dog had “fulfilled its mission” and encourage fans to remember “the joy that Balltze brought to the world.”

“A Shiba Inu with a round, smiling face that connects you and me, he helped many people during the pandemic and brought a lot of joy to many of you, but now his mission is over. I believe he is running freely in the sky and eating delicious food with his new friends,” the owner wrote, adding that the dog will always be “in my heart.”

Although not as ubiquitous as another Shiba Inu from the original Doge meme, Balltze has been immortalized by popular memes including “Swole doge vs Cheems” after one of his photographs went viral in 2019.

Cheems fans mourned his sudden death online, with one user creating an image showing the dog sitting on a ladder of clouds in heaven, complete with angel wings and a halo.

“Always in our hearts. I’ve always brought so much joy to my feed. Rest easy, Balltze. » lamented another user.

Balltze was adopted by a Hong Kong family when he was just a year old and became famous when one of his photographs was leaked online in 2019. Balltze had his own Instagram account where his photos of Daily moods were shared by its owner. His love for cheeseburgers earned him his nickname Cheems.

“Even though he is no longer with us, his iconic memes will continue to thrive on our devices,” » wrote one X/Twitter user, adding that “Cheem’s legacy remains intact.”

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