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Beloved Boston Marathon dog will likely return to race route following cancer diagnosis

HOLLISTON, Mass. — A beloved golden retriever who has become a fixture on the Boston Marathon race route is set to return to the sidelines again this year.

Spencer is a 12-year-old golden retriever who is best known for holding a “Boston Strong” flag in his mouth along the marathon route in Ashland.

He was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year and just completed chemotherapy treatment.

“He wants to be there and he wants to do it, and as long as he is well – which he should be – then he’ll be there,” Spencer’s owner Rich Powers told Boston 25 News. “He loves the energy, he loves the runners.”

Powers said as long as Spencer is doing well and as long as the weather isn’t too hot, Spencer will be on the sidelines cheering on runners on April 18.

In addition to the marathon motivation Spencer has provided for the past eight years, he is also a therapy dog who visits hospitals, assisted living facilities, colleges and more.