Therapy Dogs Giving Reminders

September 9, 2020

Two purebred golden retrievers that spend time in Massachusetts and Rhode Island have stolen the hearts of hundreds.

Eleven-year-old “Spencer” and his 8-year-old niece, “Penny,” are pleasant pooches that have been certified volunteer therapy dogs for years.

The pair live with their owners part-time in Wickford.

“Everybody smiles when they meet them. Everyone just falls in love with them,” said Rich Powers, their owner. “They actually go visit hospitals and schools and assisted living, funeral homes alike.”

While both are well-loved, Spencer is an internet sensation. His claim to fame happened two years ago along the streets of Boston.

“Spencer became famous in 2018. He was standing at the Boston Marathon in the pouring rain holding a flag that said, ‘Boston Strong’,” said Powers. “It was seen all over the world. People from Australia reached out asking to meet him.”

Since then, the dogs have had quite the following on social media. So Powers, who’s a professional photographer, has been sharing them with others virtually.

“I started stepping it up a little bit more lately because you know the pandemic was a little more tense, so we’re trying to do more positive feel good stuff,” said Powers. “Back in March, when we first started working from home, losing track of the days were a real thing.”

Every day since the pandemic, he asks the pair to pose for pictures.

He sometimes dresses them up or has them hold personalized signs with positive messages.

Some of the most popular pictures though, are the most simple.

“When this all started, I would put the trash out more than once on the wrong day,” said Powers. “So, with them, I started to post the date and then it was the Monday, and the date, and the year.”

Powers posts the pictures of Spencer and Penny to several community groups in Rhode Island and Massachusetts with a message like, “Good morning.”

He said the response has been overwhelming.

“I was waiting for people to say, ‘Stop doing it. It’s annoying,’ but that was not the reaction I got,” said Powers. “It was like, ‘Please keep doing it’.”

Spencer and Penny don’t mind dressing up. They’re well-trained, patient, and gentle.

“You can’t have a bad day when you look at them,” said Powers. “I wanted to share that with others.”

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    January 8, 2021

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    January 8, 2021

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    January 8, 2021

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    January 7, 2021

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    January 7, 2021

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    January 7, 2021

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more

    Police Dog Attack

    January 7, 2021

    A resolution headed to the Duluth City Council on Monday could put to rest a lawsuit filed by Teri Lynn Ehlers, an employee of the Patch Motel, who was bitten by a Duluth police dog named Oakley. Former Duluth Police Officer Marc Johnson was a registered guest of the Warroad establishment May 28, 2018, when […]

    Read more

    PAWS With A Cause

    January 7, 2021

    Pebble Hill Plantation and the Thomas County Public Library are pleased to announce the upcoming Enlightening Bites program, “PAWS With a Cause,” on Friday, January 8, 2021 at noon in the Flipper Room of the Library. The program is being presented by Jeri Anderson, field representative. Anderson is recently retired from the City of Monticello, […]

    Read more

    Police Canine Team

    January 7, 2021

    Kingston Police revealed in a news release late Wednesday afternoon that they’ve been keeping a four-legged secret for roughly three months. The force announced it added a second canine unit, with the arrival of police service dog Dak this past October. He is working with Const. Jeff Dickson, while police service dog Bask is working […]

    Read more

    K9s For Warriors

    January 7, 2021

    K9s For Warriors, a nonprofit organization that provides military veterans suffering from severe PTSD, traumatic brain injury and military sexual trauma with service animals, recently changed the name of its main campus to honor its leader and founder Shari Duval. Duval began K9s For Warriors in 2011 after her son returned from two tours in […]

    Read more

    More Recent News