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Run free, Cheems: Iconic 'Doge' meme dog passes away at 12

By Melanie Uson Published Aug 20, 2023 10:24 am

The fur baby in the iconic "Doge" meme passed away at 12 years old after a battle with cancer. 

The owner of Cheems Balltze announced the unfortunate news on his Instagram account on Aug. 18. “He fell asleep on Friday morning during his last thoracentesis surgery,” they wrote. “Originally, we wanted to arrange chemotherapy or other possible treatment for him after this operation, but it is too late now.”

The fur parent told their fans to “not be sad” and remember the joy that "Ball Ball" brought with his funny and adorable memes, especially during the pandemic. 

“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,” they wrote. 

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A post shared by Cheems_Balltze (@balltze)

“I believe he is running freely in the sky and having a lot of delicious food with his new friends. He will always be inside my heart. I hope he can continue to bring joy to everyone in the online world, that’s my only humble request,” they added. 

The dog owner went on to express their appreciation to the medical staff who helped Balltze in his treatments and surgeries in the past six months. They also thanked Cheems' fans for their support and love for their “good boy.” 

After falling sick in January, his owner started updating the fans on his vet journey, revealing that he underwent tests, physiotherapy, and thoracentesis surgery for his battle with cancer.

“[A]ll of you have been very generous and helpful, and I’m truly grateful to all of you, your love and support to Ball Ball is so unconditional, and I found that is the purest love in the world,” the pet's parent wrote. 

They also shared that proceeds from donations and brass pins sales for his supposed medical bills will be donated to local animal charities. 

"Thank you everyone, thank you, Balltze knows how much he was loved by all of you," they said.

Rest in peace, Cheems.