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The Dog Whisperer

By Kristie Ramirez

Portrait by Poul Ober

08.23.17

Want your pooch to feel right at home even when it’s not? Call Suzen Dennis Lambring of Tailwaggers Country Inn. Boarding will never be the same again.

“I DON'T REALLY see them as dogs,” says Suzen Dennis Lambring, owner of luxury pet getaway Tailwaggers Country Inn. One would have to have that point of view with a personal brood of eight four-legged friends, most of whom are geriatric. But even for Lambring, eight isn’t enough. When the former model walked the fashion runways in New York City—she was with the Ford Agency in Manhattan and Kim Dawson in Dallas­—she was always sneaking her Chihuahua backstage in her bag. “I was that person,” she says. With an overbooked travel schedule, bad experiences at boarding facilities and a serendiptous open house on 7 acres in Van Alstyne, about an hour from Dallas, she and her husband jumped at the opportunity for their dogs to be able to run free. The Lambrings bought the property and hired a retired woman to care for their animals when they weren’t able. Soon, friends got word of the idyllic spread and requests for doggie overnights starting rolling in. “I found myself in the country with six or seven dogs that weren’t my own,” says Lambring. That was in 1998. She’s expanded four times since then. Now with 34 acres and a menu of boarding services, Lambring’s Tailwaggers is where all dogs go to heaven on earth. Door-to-door pickup and drop-off six days a week, 25 on-site counselors assigned to small groups of dogs and cats, filtered swimming pools and an upcoming splash park are just a few of the perks. “It’s like summer camp for them. Their counselors will watch televison or read to them, sit with them on the covered swings and just keep them company,” says Lambring. “I want to make sure they’re all happy. I’ll say, ‘Oh, you didn’t like the dog food? Let me go home and make you some chicken.’”