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The Boston Marathon's official race dog, a golden retriever named Spencer, has died

EYDER PERALTA, HOST:

He was one of the Boston Marathon's most famous and loyal spectators - Spencer, a golden retriever and the marathon's official dog. He died on the 17th of cancer. He was 13. For years, he was a beloved fixture at the race. Come rain or shine, he could be found around the three-mile mark, holding a Boston Strong flag between his teeth as thousands of runners sped by. He became such a celebrity that many competitors would stop to give him a quick pat or take a selfie before rejoining the marathon.

Spencer had shot to fame in 2018 after a video of him decked out in a rain jacket went viral on social media. The dog's owner, Rich Powers, told The New York Times that Spencer loved Frisbees and swimming, as well as eating dehydrated sweet potatoes and carrots. In a tweet, the Boston Marathon paid tribute to the pooch, saying his spirit and determination were inspiration to all. And they added that Spencer will now forever be considered the Boston Marathon's official dog. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.