Spencer, official dog of last year’s Boston Marathon, honored posthumously at this year’s race
A billboard honoring Spencer & Penny during the Boston Marathon. Source: Facebook @Spencerpowrs
By Theresa Knapp
This was the first year since 2015, that Spencer, the Golden Retriever therapy dog who last year was named the official dog of the 126th Boston Marathon, was not standing in his usual spot in Ashland to cheer on thousands of runners.
Spencer died of cancer in February at the age of 13. Spencer’s niece, Penny, who often shared the spotlight with him, died 8 days later at the age of 10, she also had cancer.
In their regular cheering spot this year was their owner Rich Powers of Holliston who wore Spencer’s raincoat and waved Spencer’s flags in his stead.
“Spencer & Penny were there [in] Spirit for a rainy Boston Marathon,” wrote Powers on their official “Spencer & Penny” Facebook page. “I wore Spencer’s rain jacket from 2018 while holding their photo and his flags high Lots of well wishes, hugs, high fives and many runners yelling their name.”
There were numerous tributes to Spencer and Penny during the Marathon festivities including a billboard near the start of the race and a street light flag on Boylston Street near the end of the race.
The day before the race, more than 100 dogs - many wearing “Golden Strong” bandanas - met on the Boston Common during an event organized by MA Golden Meetups to benefit the Morris Animal Foundation. During that event, many of the Golden Retrievers gathered at the finish line to pay tribute to the pair who inspired so many runners over the last several years