One of the defining moments of the last decade was the rise of social media and of course – memes.

The word “meme” came from the Greek root term “mim” which means “mimic.” The word doge has been used since 1976, but gained its popularity again recently as a viral meme that shows comical words, images and symbols that rapidly spread through the internet.

Many people share memes online and has become part of the culture all over the world. As a new decade begins, we take a look back at the memest of all memes.

The Doge

Doge wins Meme of the Decade, according to a poll made by The Tab, which is a youth news site published by Tab Media Ltd.  

Doge is a meme of Shiba Inu dogs, particularly of Kabosu, a Shiba Inu from Japan. The doge won over other nominees, including Disaster Girl, Drake HotlineBling, Woman yelling at cat, Is this a pigeon?, Distracted boyfriend, Grumpy cat, and many more.

More than 3,000 people voted among the nominees and the hilarious Kabosu won with 22.17 percent of the votes, while ‘Woman yelling at cat’ took second place with 16.16 percent of votes.

It was on February 23, 2010 when Japanese kindergarten teacher Atsuko Sato posted several photos of her Shiba Inu Kabosu to her personal blog that started it all. Kabosu was sitting on a couch when she looked sideways at the camera with raised eyebrows – a very un-doglike expression.

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Tumblr blog Shiba Confessions saw the cute dog and reposted the image, adding some text overlay that became the meme.

Since then, doge has been posted online, on featured apps, on a Delta Air Lines safety video, public transport ads in Sweden, and was added to Dictionary.com in 2015. Doge was also awarded Meme of the Year on Know Your Meme in 2013.

Kabosu, the Shiba Inu

Sato was first taken aback when she saw photos of her dog online. She did not know that Kabosu would become the face of the “doge.”

Kabosu would not have brought so much happiness to other people if not for Sato. She rescued the lovable Shiba Inu from an animal shelter in November 2008, where Kabosu was facing impending death.

“She was a pedigreed dog from a puppy mill, and when the puppy mill closed down, she was abandoned along with 19 other Shiba dogs,” the teacher told The Verge. “Some of them were adopted, but the rest of them were killed.”

A volunteer from the shelter gave the dog its name, kabosu, which was a type of Japanese citrus. Sato thought the dog’s face was indeed as round as the fruit, so she kept the name.

Now, 14-year-old Kabosu is enjoying her senior days filled with belly rubs, head scratched and lots of adventures with her fur-ever family.

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