Cheems Balltze, the iconic internet meme dog known for his cheerful grin and plump appearance, has passed away at the age of 12 following a courageous fight against cancer.
The 12-year-old Shiba Inu, affectionately called Ball Ball, underwent a thoracentesis procedure on Friday but sadly did not regain consciousness, as shared in an Instagram post by his owner Kathy.
Kathy revealed that despite the surgery setback, Ball Ball’s cancer treatment would persist. She emphasized the adoration many held for the roly-poly dog with his endearing “round smiling face.” Rather than dwelling on sorrow, she urged her followers to “cherish the happiness that Balltze brought to the world.”
The post expressed, “He has provided solace to numerous people during the pandemic and spread joy to many of you, but now his mission is fulfilled. I believe he’s now running freely in the heavens, relishing delicious meals with his new companions.”
Residing in Hong Kong, Ball Ball became famous in 2017 when an Instagram user likened him to “cheese,” a reference that eventually led to his moniker “Cheems” or “Cheemsburger.” Prior to this, his owner had started chronicling his emotions on Instagram by sharing snapshots.
He also gained recognition for the meme “Swole Doge vs. Cheems,” which humorously juxtaposed an exceedingly muscular dog with a smaller, more subdued counterpart.
After revealing his cancer diagnosis in May, Kathy shared images of his journey on Instagram, expressing gratitude to supporters who stood by him. She voiced her hope, “He can continue to bring joy to everyone in the online world; that’s my only humble request.”
The post further conveyed, “I’m genuinely appreciative of all of you; your unwavering love and support for Ball Ball is truly heartwarming. To me, that is the most genuine love in existence. Having Ball Ball in my life has been the most wonderful experience. Balltze knew just how deeply he was cherished by all of you.”