Gaggle of goldens flock finish line area in honor of beloved Boston Marathon dog Spencer

BOSTON — Dozens of golden retrievers wagged their way around the Boston Marathon finish line area in honor of the official Boston Marathon dog, Spencer.

Spencer was a fixture on the race route in Ashland for nearly a decade, holding a “Boston Strong” flag in his mouth. He – and his sister Penny, another golden retriever – died of cancer just days apart two months ago.

“He was just a symbol of iconic hope,” Rich Powers, Spencer’s owner, said. “He’s definitely leaving a legacy of inspiration and hope, and the idea that you can do even better than you think you can.”

Sunday’s gathering was organized by MA Golden Meetups as a way to honor Spencer on the first marathon since his death.

“We are here, Copley the golden boy is here with all the group, and we are here for Penny and Spencer,” said Fred Ouellette, of Westwood. “They’d been to the marathon for so many years and we wanted to come out and salute them and salute all the runners as well.”

After roaming the finish line area, hundreds of golden retrievers and their owners gathered on the Boston Common.

Many of the dogs wore “Golden Strong” bandanas. The group is selling them, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Morris Animal Foundation’s research on canine cancer in golden retrievers.

“Goldens especially, they get cancer a lot easier,” said Haley Delorenzo, of Wilmington. “They’re like the best dogs I think so I’m hoping that we can find a better way to have them live longer.”

The Powers started a memorial page and fundraiser that has already raised more than $32,000 for canine cancer research.

“We are hoping that people don’t have to go through this,” said Powers. “It’s a family member that you lose. It’s not just a dog.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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