New Statue of 'Boston Marathon Dog' Placed in Exact Spot Where He Cheered on Runners

CC CBS Boston

A longtime fixture at the Boston Marathon has finally gotten the recognition he deserves. On Saturday, March 30, a statue was unveiled honoring Spencer, a Golden Retriever who loyally stood by at runners while they trekked across the 26.2-mile course.

The statue was unveiled in Ashland, Massachusetts a little over a year after the dog passed.

Spencer's owner, Rich Powers, told CBS News that he first started bringing the Golden Retriever to the race after the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. Powers hoped that by bringing his dog to the sidelines he would be bolstering runners after the tragedy. It worked.

Related: 'Boston Marathon Dog' Expected to Return to Cheer on Runners After His Cancer Treatment

"We had lines of people when Spencer was with us, lines of people," Powers recalled. "Not talking like three or four people, it was like 20 people deep waiting to take a picture. They're stopping the marathon to take a picture with Spencer and he loved every second of it."

Spencer would hold a "Boston Strong" flag in his mouth as the runners passed him.

"Spencer totally understood what he was doing and he knew he made a difference and he enjoyed doing it," Powers told the news outlet.

Throughout the years Spencer never faltered. Even during the 2020 pandemic, the dog was there to raise hope while runners stayed inside. That was sadly the year that Spencer was diagnosed with a tumor. The Golden recovered, and in 2022 was named the Official Dog of the Boston Marathon.

Sadly Spencer's health issues returned and he died from cancer last year. Eight days later, Penny died too.

Susan Hurley, a marathon runner and cancer survivor who'd connected to Spencer after his diagnosis, was moved when the pup died. She and friend, and fellow runner, Trisha Winton, came up with the idea to commemorate Spencer's legacy with the statue.

The two turned to local sculptor Jeff Buccacio, and quickly raised money for the piece from donors. The next challenge was finding a spot where the statue would permanently stay. The city of Ashland denied the request to put the statue on town property. But they lucked out when Robin and Cynthia Eynon Hicks offered up a part of their private property for the statue right across the way from Spencer's usual spot.

"It's a great story," Powers told WCVB after the unveiling. "Even if you don't know his story, how can you not look at a statue with a sign, you know, a dog looking up, holding some positive flags? How could that be a bad story? So, even if you don't know his story, I think the statue is going to mean something to you," he added.

It seems like the dog dad was touched that many more runners will get to see his good boy in the future.

"Those who know Spencer and met him in the world and people who are fortunate enough to meet him can attest... he was just truly an angel," Powers said.

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