Goodbye, Spencer: Official Boston Marathon Dog Dies of Cancer

This year, the Boston Marathon will be held on April 17, 2023.

But, this time, there will be no Spencer to cheer the marathon runners as they start their long-distance foot race from the town of Hopkinton in southwest Boston to Copley Square in the Back Bay neighborhood near Downtown.

Photo: YouTube/WCVB Channel 5 Boston

Spencer the Golden Retriever was the official dog of the 126th Boston Marathon, as gladly appointed by the Boston Athletic Association, which also bestowed upon him the 2022 unicorn medal. In that same year, Spencer was also named honorary canine ambassador by the Fairmont Copley Plaza. It was a great year for this cheerful Golden Retriever, who has been attending the historic marathon with his owners since 2015.

But Spencer had a battle of his own to beat, a battle against cancer. He fought hard, keeping a lively spirit despite the pain and struggles that his disease was causing him. In 2021 and 2022, Spencer was present at the races even though his health was no longer good. He wanted to be there for the runners, spurring them on with his signature Boston Strong flag and infectious enthusiasm.

Photo: YouTube/WCVB Channel 5 Boston

For a time after that, his owners were so grateful that their dog seemed to have overcome his illness. It was a glorious time for them, with Spencer even present when a huge portrait was unveiled at the Fairmont Copley Plaza to honor him.

But Spencer’s cancer returned, and this time, it won over the good-hearted Golden Retriever.

Photo: YouTube/WCVB Channel 5 Boston

His owner spoke in remembrance of Spencer: “He was our family and he meant the world to me, my wife, and a lot of people, inspired so many people. We recognized immediately from the start what a special boy he was. He was very in tune, he was like a visiting angel. Spencer was easy to relate to because everyone has a Spencer story. He beat the odds, gives hope that we can really use.”

Spencer is now gone, but to the people of Boston and everyone participating in this world’s oldest annual marathon, the memories of this amazing Golden Retriever will live on.

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