Deer Antlers. The other day someone asked me, “How in the world did you start selling deer antlers?” They thought the concept was a little odd!
My pups had been gifted some deer antlers waaaay back and after they had chewed on them awhile—I was convinced they were superior to any other chew you could give your pups—I procured a few more and insisted my mom give them to her Dobermans. I say insisted because my mom is neurotic—wait let me try this again—my mom is very particular about everything she gives her pups, from dog food to dog chews. Usually when I come up with a new dog anything, she says, “Let Rascal try it first.” Anyway, since Rascal had been happily chewing antlers for over a year, Mom gave them to her Dobermans and then…without even asking me…
She went on her Doberman list and announced that I would be happy to sell and ship deer antlers to all her listmates and their friends. Really. Three hundred plus orders filled my personal e-mail inbox in just a few hours, with more to come. We were in the deer antler business.
Soon, deer antlers became a family en-deer-vor.
My dad took over the shipping end of the business. Most of the time, Dad is speedy quick and rattlesnake accurate. And when he is not, I just explain to customers that my elderly dear old dad is doing the very best he can with his arthritic fingers—yep, people end up apologizing for even thinking about asking when their order will arrive. Thanks to all of you that have been patient over any snafus…you know we love you best and your little dogs too!
If you call us, my mother will answer the phone. My mother considers herself the CEO of Deer Antlers for Pups. Mom does not ship antlers or do any on-line work for the company, but she will answer her phone when you call and promise that I will solve your problem speedy quick or she will go in and poke my dad with a stick to get your order on the road immediately. She also complains loudly when she does not see boxes of antlers sitting by the front door waiting for pick-up by the mail carrier.
Our pups and my Camp Run-A-Pup campers test the antlers for quality. My mother’s Doberman, Trinket, is a thief and will make off with a jumbo antler the minute your back is turned. Rascal, my sweet Jack Russell, waits until I pick out an antler for her to test and then properly goes about the job of testing the antler very methodically while Trinket throws her deer antler in the air, slides on it, pokes small children in the eye with it, and then chews it like a dobergartor.
Our profits go towards things like my kids’ braces and my mother’s dog show entries. My dad is taken to lunch occasionally—if he keeps shipping costs down. Since we know how expensive life with dogs can be, we have made a conscious choice to keep our prices as low as possible.
Thinking back to the original questions—we started selling deer antlers because our own dogs liked them so much. We seldom think of it as a business; more as an extension of our life with dogs. Many of our customers have become deer friends; we love the pictures and stories they send us. We love sharing a product we trust enough to give our own dogs and to the dogs of other people.
Antler you glad we had this conversation? Me too! Want to talk more about dogs, antlers, or whatever else wags your tail? Just leave me a comment.