BOSTON (WPRI) — One of the biggest fans at the Boston Marathon each year received a special honor on Wednesday.

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 12-year-old dog underwent surgery late last year to have a tumor and spleen removed and was later diagnosed with terminal cancer. He has since finished chemotherapy and his owner says he is in remission.

Ahead of this year’s race, Spencer was named the official dog of the 126th Boston Marathon during a ceremony.

“The past two marathons, this one included, it was really unlikely he would make it. But it’s a miracle. He’s a miracle. He’s a miracle boy. He’s an inspiration for a lot of people that you can do it,” his owner Richard Powers said.

In addition to his personalized bib, Spencer was also treated to a goodie bag filled with dog cookies.

“He doesn’t know how great he is. We know how great he is,” Powers said. “He’s just a humble guy who likes to please people.”

This year’s marathon is set for Monday, April 18.