Boston Marathon

Spencer the golden retriever named the official Boston Marathon dog

Spencer even got his own bib.

Spencer was honored by the Boston Athletic Association as the official dog of the 126th Boston Marathon Wednesday morning. Boston Athletic Association

The Boston Marathon has a popular, and furry, fan who was honored by the Boston Athletic Association Wednesday.

Spencer, the 12-year-old golden retriever who has become a race-day fixture cheering on runners from the sidelines, was named the “Official Dog of the 126th Boston Marathon.” To signify the honor, the beloved pooch was given his own Spencer bib.

Spencer and his sister Penny rode to the Fairmont Copley hotel ceremony in a limousine.

“Every dog has his day. Today is Spencer’s and he’s sharing it with his girl Penny. The duo is being whisked away by limo,” wrote Spencer’s owner Richard Powers, “Special Thanks to Fairmont Copley For putting this all together. To honor Spencer for his years of cheering and inspiring the Boston Marathon.”

For eight years, therapy dog Spencer has been cheering on runners along the 26.2-mile course and become a bit of a local celebrity in the process. He went viral in 2018 for cheering on runners on a particularly rainy race day, dressed in a raincoat and holding his signature duo of “Boston Strong” flags.

Spencer even made an appearance on the originally scheduled day of the postponed 2020 marathon.

However, much to the dismay of the public, Spencer has faced a series of recent, very serious, health issues. In 2020, Powers announced that Spencer had a 3.5-inch tumor, which was thankfully benign. But that was not the end of the pup’s medical problems. Another tumor, this time cancerous, was discovered in Spencer’s spleen in 2021.


Thankfully, the tumor was removed in December and Spencer was treated with chemotherapy. His last round of chemo was seven weeks ago, and Spencer’s cancer is now in remission, just in time to cheer on runners at the 126th Boston Marathon.

On Monday, supporters can still hope to see Spencer at his usual spot near Ashland State Park.

“We almost lost our Spencer last year and thought he would never be able to cheer the Boston marathon again,” Powers wrote on his Facebook page. “It has been a long wait but Spencer is ready to see you all again.”


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