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7 Apr 2023
Amy Furr

NextImg:Over 100 Golden Retrievers to Honor Boston Marathon Dog

Over 100 golden retrievers and their owners will walk to the Boston Marathon finish line on April 16 to honor the race’s official dog and his niece.

The group MA Golden Meetups is leading the event, WCVB reported Friday. The organization said Thursday it was honored so many news outlets picked up the story.

“Thank you so much! We cannot wait to see you at the finish line!” its social media post read:

‼️IMPORTANT UPDATES‼️First of all we are so honored to have been featured by so many news stations today including @…

Posted by MA Golden Meetups on Thursday, April 6, 2023

Spencer was known as the symbol of the Boston Marathon once he was spotted holding a special yellow and blue “Boston Strong” flag in his mouth as runners passed by on their way to the finish line.

Video footage from April 2022 shows Spencer, who was a certified therapy dog, exiting a limousine:

“I’m very emotional about this dog. He’s extremely special and I’m just glad we can share him with so many people,” his owner, Richard Powers, told reporters at the time.

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Spencer battled cancer for quite a while and more was found a few months ago. Therefore, his owners knew he would not make it to this year’s race and he died in February at the age of 13.

His niece, the family’s other golden named Penny, passed away a few days after her veterinarian found she was bleeding internally and there were tumors on her liver and spleen.

More video footage shows Spencer holding his flag during races that took place in all kinds of weather:

“When I walk the dog people stop and [ask] ‘Is this Spencer?’ They act like they’re meeting Sandra Bullock,” his owner recalled in April of last year.

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Now, the army of dogs planning to gather for the upcoming event will wear “Golden Strong” bandanas to honor Spencer and greet people at the finish line the day before the race.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) describes the gold retriever breed as being intelligent, friendly, and devoted.

“They are serious workers at hunting and field work, as guides for the blind, and in search-and-rescue, enjoy obedience and other competitive events, and have an endearing love of life when not at work,” the club’s site read.