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'An ambassador of friendship': Tyler's Hollytree neighborhood honors late dog with mural

When Brownie died on March 8, the group wanted a way to honor and commemorate him, eventually deciding on trying to wrap a transformer box with his likeness.

TYLER, Texas — **EDITOR'S NOTE: The video attached was produced in April 2022.

Residents of Hollytree in Tyler recently honored the passing of a beloved neighborhood dog with a mural. 

Brownie the dog, who became a living legend in the neighborhood, was cared for by many residents. He was a scrappy dog who wandered throughout South Tyler, eventually calling Hollytree Dr. home. His age was never confirmed, but by the time he passed he was rumored to be 22-years-old. 

Throughout the years, members of the community created a Facebook group and even a Nextdoor page to keep tabs on his location throughout the day. For the last four years, a group of five women in Hollytree, Jamie Hancock; Phyllis Tindel; Alice Avery; Ingrid Horner; and Rebecca Davis; banded together and took care of him. 

"We've had a group text for the last 4 years and it has expanded, but everyday whoever fed him would post allowing us to track him," said Horner.

Some members of the group would cook meals for him, including bacon; hamburgers; or chicken; and some would provide a small dog house for him to hang out in. 

"I would fry him bacon [in the morning]. My husband thought it was for him, but it was for Brownie," said Avery.

When Brownie died on March 8, the group wanted a way to honor and commemorate him, eventually deciding on trying to wrap a transformer box with his likeness. Ingrid Horner, the artist behind the mural, helped raise upwards of $1,600 for the cost of wrapping it by selling prints of Brownie to the entire community. 

"We had been talking about the box for years and I painted the original for Rebecca," explained Horner. "When he passed, we sold the prints to raise funds. A lot of people just donated money."

With permission from the community's country club and HOA, the group was able to hire the City of Tyler's wrapping company to wrap the transformer box near the group's homes with the money raised from the prints. The location was based on where residents would typically spot Brownie.

"They would spot him in this place, crossing the street," said Horner.

Credit: Sam Searles

Although Brownie hasn't been roaming the streets of Hollytree the last few weeks, the group has maintained their friendship. Jamie Hancock explained how he managed to bring everyone together because of their shared interest in his wellbeing. 

"We never would have met without him," said Hancock.

The memorial is a permanent reminder for everyone in the community for all the memories they have of Brownie, as well as the friendships they created in the process.

"He was a little ambassador of friendship," said Avery. 

For those wanting to see the box in-person, they can drive by it within the Hollytree neighborhood. It is located at the intersection of Hollytree Drive and Brandywine Drive, in front of the Hollytree Country Club.

Credit: Sam Searles

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