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Golden Retriever Beloved for Cheering on the Boston Marathon Gets Statue Near His Favorite Spot on the Route

Spencer died in February 2023 after "severe medical challenges," his owners wrote on Instagram

<p>David L. Ryan/getty; John Tlumacki/Getty </p> Spencer, the official dog of theBoston Marathon, (left) and the statue of Spencer unveiled on the marathon route in 2024

David L. Ryan/getty; John Tlumacki/Getty

Spencer, the official dog of theBoston Marathon, (left) and the statue of Spencer unveiled on the marathon route in 2024

A beloved golden retriever is being honored for being Boston strong.

A statue of Spencer — the late golden retriever named the official dog of the Boston Marathon in 2022 by the Boston Athletic Association — was unveiled on Saturday in Ashland, Massachusetts, across from the canine's favorite spot on the marathon route. Local sculptor Jeff Buccacio made the statue. The canine became famous for cheering on marathon runners from the place near Ashland State Park year after year.

Spencer's owner, Rich Powers, began the tradition with his cherished pet after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. Still, the dog didn't go viral until 2018 when he showed up in the pouring rain holding "Boston Strong" flags in his mouth to show his support for the drenched athletes.

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"Spencer understood what he was doing, and he knew he made a difference, and he enjoyed doing it," Powers told local station WBZ News. As seen in video footage shared by the station, runners would stop in their tracks to line up and take a picture with the dog.

<p>David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty</p> There's also a portrait of Spencer at the headquarters for Boston Marathon activity.

David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty

There's also a portrait of Spencer at the headquarters for Boston Marathon activity.

The famous dog faced a medical challenge in 2020 when he was diagnosed with a tumor. Despite his health struggles, Spencer kept spreading smiles through the COVID-19 pandemic on social media.

He returned to his favorite Boston Marathon spot in 2021. In February 2023, Power announced on Instagram that the dog had died after overcoming multiple bouts of cancer.

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

<p>John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty</p> Golden retrievers posing with of Spencer, the official dog of the Boston Marathon

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty

Golden retrievers posing with of Spencer, the official dog of the Boston Marathon

"Spencer has overcome some severe medical challenges over the past several years. We thought we would be lucky to have him for an extra month," Powers added. "Spencer was not ready to give up, and with the love and positive energy sent to him by hundreds of thousands of fans, He beat the odds and gave us 28 months."

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

WBZ News reported that Spencer's numerous fans came up with the idea to commission a statue in honor of the golden retriever. The dog's supporters also started a fundraiser to finance the statue.

<p>John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty</p> A statue created to honor Spencer, a golden retriever who became the official dog of the Boston Marathon.

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty

A statue created to honor Spencer, a golden retriever who became the official dog of the Boston Marathon.

Once the statue was completed, Spencer's fans came through again and got the tribute a permanent place on the marathon route. The Ashland Select Board denied the request to put the statue on town property, per WBZ News, so residents Robin Hicks and Cynthia Eynon Hicks donated a piece of their private land across the street from Spencer's spot for the statue.

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Robin told the local news that he donated his property so people could "just enjoy and reflect - sit there and think of what, as a human being, you could do what this dog did."

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Read the original article on People.