On August 18, the internet world bid a heartfelt farewell to Cheems, the beloved Shiba Inu dog who had captured hearts as the adorable star of countless memes. Cheems, also known as Balltze, had become a global sensation and an emblem of joy and comfort for many during the trying times of the pandemic. Tragically, the iconic pup’s journey came to an end due to cancer, as he peacefully fell asleep during his last thoracentesis surgery and never woke up.
In an emotional Instagram post, Cheems’ owners shared the news with the world, accompanied by several pictures of the fluffy canine. “Ball Ball fell asleep on 18/8. He fell asleep on Friday morning during his last thoracentesis surgery. Originally, we wanted to arrange chemotherapy or other possible treatment for him after this operation, but it is too late now,” they wrote.
The post continued, “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.”
The Journey of Cheems: From Ordinary to Extraordinary
Cheems’ journey from an ordinary pup to an internet sensation began in 2017 when its pictures went viral. An innocent comment likening the dog to “Cheese” by an Instagram user Josh sparked the genesis of Cheems’ meme fame. The Shiba Inu’s signature round face and the endearing charm with which it connected with people in a pandemic-stricken world propelled it to meme stardom. Its most famous meme appearance, “Swole Doge vs. Cheems,” further cemented its place in meme history.
Living in Hong Kong with its owner Kathy, Cheems spent a joyful 12 years touching lives with its photogenic presence. Kathy’s passion for sharing the pup’s “daily mood” and “cuteness” turned into a phenomenon that spread far beyond their immediate surroundings. Cheems’ popularity soared when an awkward photo of the dog became an iconic meme, often used to depict feelings of discomfort or vulnerability.
A Legacy of Laughter and Love
The news of Cheems’ passing brought forth an outpouring of grief and tributes from internet users who had come to adore the canine sensation. One user shared, “RIP buddy you brought a lot of people happiness.” Another user expressed, “He is a legend of the Internet world, a meme founder and now, he is immortal. Rest in love sweet Ball Ball, you were and are loved by billions all over the world.”
A third person reflected, “I was introduced to this legend through a meme trend. It’s hard to hear about his passing a few years later. He helped many people get through 2020 and so on. His meme trend will live on to honor his life and the joy he gave everyone through these memes. Sleep well king, you will be missed.”
As Cheems leaves a void in the hearts of those who cherished his memes, his legacy lives on. His infectious smile and the laughter he brought continue to resonate, reminding us of the power of connection and the joy that a furry friend can bring even in the virtual world. Rest in peace, dear Cheems, your memory lives on in the laughter you gifted us.
Image Credit: Instagram @balltze