Beloved therapy dog will return to Boston Marathon course after surviving tumor removal

Spencer has supported athletes in the Boston Marathon for years. This year, he'll be back after surviving the removal of a major tumor.


An adorable fan of the Boston Marathon is planning to return to the racecourse on Monday.

Spencer, a 12-year-old therapy dog who has become a social media favorite, will once again be waiting with his "Boston Strong" flag to cheer on runners at his usual spot near Ashland State Park, said Rich Powers, of The Henry Studio.

For the last in-person running of the marathon, in 2019, Spencer donned a raincoat and braved the inclement weather to support the athletes. His sister Penny sat that race out because of the weather, but Powers said she'll likely return to the course on Monday.

It's been more than 900 days since that last race and "we've been through a lot," as Spencer acknowledges with a sign in a video Powers posted to social media.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the 2020 race to be canceled in its traditional format and, because of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, it's being run this year in the autumn rather than the spring.

But Spencer also had his own obstacle to overcome to make it to Monday's race. Powers said the dog "miraculously" survived surgery to remove a 3.5-pound tumor.

"We are incredibly lucky to have him here to cheer the runners on again," Powers wrote. "If you know anyone running Monday, share this with them so they can keep an eye out for him around 2-3 miles in on the right side. We are Boston Strong."