Spencer, Official Boston Marathon Dog, Dies After Lengthy Cancer Battle

Photo: Spencer & Penny on Facebook

HOLLISTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Spencer, the beloved 13-year-old golden retriever who cheered on runners at the Boston Marathon for years, died Friday, his owners said on Facebook.

"We are devastated to share the news of Spencer's passing," the Spencer & Penny Facebook page posted Tuesday. "We were loaned and [sic] incredible gift in 2009 and we had to return the gift last Friday. Spencer passed in our home with the help of our compassionate vet on Friday."

Spencer became a Boston Marathon staple holding a "Boston Strong" flag in his mouth on the route near Ashland State Park for nine years.

"Spencer understood energy, and he felt energy coming to him and energy leaving him, because that’s what him great at the marathon," owner Richard Powers of Holliston told WBZ NewsRadio Wednesday. "He held that flag so proud and so stoic because he felt the energy and he knew it was making a difference."

Spencer was named the official dog of the 126th Boston Marathon in April 2022. In October that year, Spencer was diagnosed with untreatable liver cancer, his second time battling cancer after having a tumor removed in 2020.

Powers told WBZ NewsRadio that Spencer kept his spirits up until his final moments on Friday.

"All day Friday, visitors came and saw him and his tail wagged at every single one of them," Powers said. "And if you stopped patting him, he poked you with his paw, like 'Hey, don’t forget me over here.' So he was true Spencer right ‘til the end."

WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports.

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