ASHLAND, Massachusetts (WCVB) — Spencer, a golden retriever known for his adorable support of Boston Marathon athletes, has reached his finish line after another difficult battle with cancer.

Spencer became an icon for holding his “Boston Strong” flag at his usual spot on the route near Ashland State Park, regardless of the weather, for nine years.

His owners, Rich and Dorrey Powers, said Spencer died Friday at the age of 13.

“He was literally like an angel on Earth. There was light and energy that would just come out of him. You would touch him and you would feel it,” Rich Powers said. “He had a soul and people could feel that. He was our family and he meant the world to me, my wife and a lot of people. He just inspired so many people.”

Prior to the 126th running of the marathon in 2022, the Boston Athletic Association named Spencer the official dog of the 126th Boston Marathon. He made it to the 2021 and 2022 races despite previous health scares.

“We at the B.A.A. are saddened to learn of the passing of one of our dearest and most loyal Boston Marathon supporters, Spencer,” the Boston Athletic Association wrote in a statement. “Spencer annually encouraged participants in Ashland, embodying the unwavering spirit of Boston’s athletes as he showed up year after year regardless of the weather conditions. We were honored to have recognized Spencer as the Official Dog of the Boston Marathon in 2022, and extend our condolences to the Powers family, sister Penny, and his many friends and admirers around the world.”

After another cancer was detected, his family came to face the realization that Spencer would not make it to the 127th running of the race. To honor the beloved dog and keep his memory, Rich Powers commissioned a portrait that was unveiled in January.

During that ceremony, the BAA also gifted Spencer a commemorative 2022 unicorn medal, and the Fairmont Copley Plaza named Spencer an honorary canine ambassador.

Rich and Dorrey Powers said Penny was often out along the Boston Marathon route with Spencer and they are planning to have Penny with them during this year’s marathon to carry out Spencer’s legacy.

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