As the owner of dog-walking company Happy Tails, Lynne Miller’s clients always are wagging with delight to see her. The same can be said for their two-legged owners as well as everyone else she’s touched in her 40 years in the Yampa Valley.
That list is surprisingly long. In her four decades here, her entrepreneurial spirit has seen her embrace everything from the brochure delivery and hot air balloon business to a rafting operation, publishing company and more.
First coming to Steamboat Springs from Colorado Springs in 1963 as a student at Yampa Valley College, Miller moved back full time in 1973 with her son, Wade, now 46. She still resides in the same home she purchased on Mount Werner back then. “I wanted to come to a place that was safe and where I’d never be too far from my son,” says Miller, 68. “I was here when President Kennedy died and here for Buddy Werner’s funeral.”
She developed her entrepreneurialism during her previous marriage, and in 20 years she has co-owned nearly 20 local businesses. After retiring from Steamboat Brochure Delivery six years ago, the itch struck again, this time revolving around pets instead of publishing. She says her dog-walking business is perfect for working couples who don’t have time to cater to their canine’s needs. She’ll show up at their homes, pick up their pets and take them to an off-leash location, often with her own black Lab, Jackson, in tow. She does two walks per day with about three dogs per walk. She also boards as many as two dogs at a time at her home.
“I absolutely love it,” she says. “Dog people are great, and it’s the best business I’ve ever had. People absolutely love the service.”
But it’s the human hearts she’s touched most in the valley, be it volunteering with Partners in Routt County or just lending a helpful ear. “She’s a wonderful Steamboat spirit and true community do-gooder,” longtime friend Neal Heiman says. Other friends and acquaintances label her a true Steamboat ambassador, sharing her knowledge, interest and passion for the area with everyone she meets.
“She’s an extraordinary entrepreneur, which has always been guided by her energy and enthusiasm,” adds friend Susan Sullivan. “Her businesses have provided jobs for locals, thrilled visitors and provided services to our community. She’s just one of those people who makes Steamboat a special place to live.”