Viral meme dog Cheems dies at 12 after battle with cancer

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Pup Balltze aka Cheems – the dog featured in numerous viral social media posts, including many ‘Doge’ memes – has died at the age of 12 after a battle with cancer.


Cheems’ owner announced the tragic news in an Instagram post early Saturday (Aug 19) morning, writing, “Don’t be sad, please remember the joy that Balltze brought to the world. A Shiba Inu with a round smiling face connecting you and me, he has helped many people during the pandemic and brought a lot of joy to many of you, but now his mission has completed.”

Cheems was going through his last round of thoracentesis surgery on Friday (Aug 18) when he passed away. The owner said there were plans in place to begin chemotherapy or other treatments after the surgery, but “it is too late now.”

Cheems shot to fame in 2019 after a picture of him looking uncomfortable was widely shared online by users wishing to express their own discomfort or weakness in various scenarios.

Cheems is also frequently shown enjoying cheeseburgers in memes, usually pronounced “Cheemsburgers,” as users tend to insert an extra “m” into words on his image.

The Cheemsburger memes have even sparked their own NFT collection.


A different Shiba Inu named Kabosu became the face of the “Dogecoin” movement supported by Elon Musk, but many of the memes also use Cheems’ image either on its own or alongside Kabosu.

As news of Cheems’ death has circulated around the Internet, many fans have posted memes or messages honouring his memory.

Cheems’ owner added that the donations and money from merchandise she collected to help with medical bills will be now given to local animal charities.

“I believe he is running freely in the sky and having a lot of delicious food with his new friends,” she added. “He will always be inside my heart.” – New York Daily News/Tribune News Service

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