BOSTON (WPRI) — One of the biggest fans at the Boston Marathon was honored this week with a giant portrait.
Spencer the golden retriever is best known for holding Boston Strong flags in his mouth along the marathon route, giving runners some extra encouragement during the race.
The portrait of Spencer was unveiled at the Fairmont Copley Plaza where he was named the honorary canine ambassador for the hotel. He was also awarded a commemorative 2022 marathon medal by the Boston Athletic Association.
The portrait was unveiled ahead of the next race because the 13-year-old dog was diagnosed with untreatable liver cancer. Unfortunately, his owner Richard Powers said it’s unclear how much longer he has left.
“He’s happy, comfortable and living life as he always has and we are monitoring him closely to ensure the highest quality of life,” Powers wrote on Facebook. “We are devastated to learn our time with this amazing boy is limited but we will never give up hope.”
An artist worked on the portrait for more than a month and they plan to sell prints to raise money for the Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.
The painting will stay at the Powers’ home but will be put on public display sometime in April ahead of the Marathon on April 17.
Spencer has since retired as a therapy dog.
“Thank you To all of you for love and positive vibes for our boy,” Powers wrote. “The energy from all of you has helped him conquer many challenges with dignity to still be with us.”