Family Mourns Loss of a Second Golden Retriever Days After Famous Boston Marathon Dog's Death

Spencer and Penny the golden retrievers
Spencer and Penny the golden retrievers

The Henry Studio

Just days after the death of their beloved golden retriever Spencer — famous for his support on race day at the Boston Marathon — the Powers family is mourning the loss of another dog.

The family wrote on Instagram Sunday that their 11-year-old golden retriever Penny died on Feb. 25, eight after Spencer's Feb. 17 death.

"A post I can't believe I have to write," Rich Powers wrote, alongside a collage of photos of Penny. "With great sadness, we are sharing the news of Penny's passing yesterday. The enormous pain of losing our Spencer only a week ago is now compounded with the loss of our precious Penny."

He continued, "Penny was the sweetest pup who liked to make a difference. Penny took Spencer's passing very hard. We did everything we could to keep her busy to keep her mind off her loss. We have been watching Penny closely while she grieved to be sure we could help her navigate through her grief."

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Over the weekend, according to the post, the family noticed that they were "witnessing more than just grief" and discovered fluid in the canine's abdomen.

After taking Penny to a local animal emergency room, vets found a tumor on Penny's spleen. Further tests showed that the malignant tumor had spread to the golden retriever's liver.

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"The vet said without the surgery, she would pass in less than 12 hours," Powers wrote. "We made the difficult decision to help her pass while she was comfortable. We held her, thanked her, and told her we loved her until her last breath. We are beyond devastated. We are in a fog of disbelief. It feels like a terrible dream. To lose 2 amazing pups in 1 week is a level of grief we are not prepared to handle."

Last week, the Powers family shared the sad news that Spencer, their older golden retriever who became famous after cheering on runners at the rain-soaked 2018 Boston Marathon, had died on Feb. 17 after dealing with multiple bouts of cancer. He was 13.

Penny the golden retriever
Penny the golden retriever

The Henry Studio

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"We are devastated to share the news of Spencer's passing," Powers said in an Instagram post about Spencer's death. "We were loaned [an] incredible gift in 2009, and we had to return the gift last Friday."

During the 2018 race, Spencer held "Boston Strong" flags in his mouth during the inclement weather at his spot on the route near Ashland State Park, a tradition that the dog had been holding up for nine years, according to WCVB-TV in Boston.

The Powers family is raising money to fund research into canine cancer and other pet health issues to honor their late dogs.

"Rest Easy, Sweet Penny," Rich wrote. "You are with your soulmate Spencer with your frisbees and ball. You are forever in our hearts. Thank you all for your caring about this special duo."