HONG KONG: Cheems, the beloved meme dog, has passed away at the age of 12 after slipping into eternal slumber during cancer surgery, as confirmed by his owner.
The iconic canine, whose quizzical expression captured hearts worldwide in a viral 2017 snapshot, failed to rouse from the surgery performed on Friday afternoon, according to a statement on his Instagram page.
Residing in Hong Kong, Cheems rose to internet fame with his endearing image. The Instagram post from Cheems’ owners read:
“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.”
The owner recounted, “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.”
Gratitude is extended to the medical personnel who attended to Cheems’ half-year cancer battle.
“All of you have been very generous and helpful, and I’m truly grateful to all of you, your love and support for Ball Ball is so unconditional and I found that is the purest love in the world, having Ball Ball in my life is the best thing ever happened.”
In tribute to Cheems, the funds directed for his care and the collected monetary contributions will now be allocated to local animal welfare organizations.
The post amassed over 860 thousand likes worldwide, with adoring admirers of the grinning pup sharing messages of sympathy and compassion with Cheems’ family.
Several recounted how Cheems lightened their darkest days amid the Covid-19 pandemic.