Beloved therapy dog returns to Boston Marathon course after surviving tumor removal

Spencer, a therapy dog, was back along the racecourse after surviving the removal of a major tumor.


A four-legged fan of the Boston Marathon returned to the racecourse on Monday.

Spencer, a 12-year-old therapy dog who has become a social media favorite, was back with his "Boston Strong" flag to cheer on runners, along with Rich Powers, of The Henry Studio.

“A lot of good energy, seeing the runners, they get a charge out of it, we get a charge out of it,” Powers said. “It’s kind of a win for everybody really.”

Several runners made a point to stop Monday and see Spencer.

“This was one of [the] things on my list that I had to stop and see on my race, first Boston so I needed to stop and see him,” said runner Kaleigh Flagg.

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 she was also back along the course with Spencer and Powers on Monday.

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 was 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 last week.