To my loyal family of dogs and their people,
I feel the need to let you all know my feelings of how each four-legged friend has been such a gift and has impacted my life! I started My Antler Dog Chews LLC in the spring of 2017. Since then, I have served, educated, and supplied shed antler to over 5,000 canines. Each has given me much pleasure and satisfaction to impact many more dogs! Thank you for giving me the capability to touch each one of your dogs, plus many more to come! I humbly look forward to meeting you…
My story began in 1970, where I was born and raised in LaPorte, Indiana. In the mid-70’s, my parents took my sisters and I to the Diamond J Guest Ranch in Ennis, Montana for the first time. For 3 consecutive summers, we would spend a week hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and just being dudes. That was it for me. Once I was old enough, I acquired a “cabin girl” job on the Diamond J in the spring of 1991. There, I spent my first Montana winter and never wanted to leave. I met my husband, Tony, in Ennis and married in 1994. Tony moved to Ennis from San Diego in 1980 to work with his father, Don Schaufler. I always believed his move was more for fishing, hunting, and his ultimate respect for the land and mountains! In the late 70’s, Tony’s father got his start in buying and selling antler. His love for the hike and pursuit for antler is what actually got us to where we are today. It wasn’t until the early 80’s that the accumulation of antler began to grow. Tony helped his dad in the mornings before school, in the evenings after school, and on the weekends. When he turned 17, he would travel out of town in his 1978 Chevy truck to start buying antler in smaller towns across the western states. Many hours were spent sitting in vacant lots and on intersections with a hand-painted plywood board that read “WE BUY ANTLERS”. As time went on, Tony and Don ended up being known as one of the largest antler buyers in the U.S., with some year’s averaging more than 250,000 pounds of antler collected!
Sure, I would go and help. We called it “shucking antler.” We had our first daughter, Julie, in the summer of 1995, and we spent many hours loading and unloading trailers while she sat in her car seat. Our next daughter, Emily, was born in the fall of 1998. We called her, along with our yellow lab, Bogey (after Humphrey Bogart), our “shop rats”! For over 30 years now, I still see my husband off on the next “horn run” while I stay home and keep the home fires burning. As the years flew by, I worked at the downtown family store, Antler Designs, in Ennis where we sold unique and authentic pieces ranging from antler chandeliers to rustic furniture. That is where I learned CUSTOMER SERVICE and loved every minute! In 2000, I was offered a position in Big Sky, Montana working for Moonlight Basin, the infamous ski resort at the time. In the 90’s, Moonlight was just starting their build on the north-facing side of Lone Mountain, neighboring Big Sky Ski Resort. Moonlight-owned Mountain Top Construction was fiercely building condominiums, fourplexes, and mountain homes. I did the construction cleans on over 100 of these units and worked directly with the inspectors in the finalization of these homes. I learned to WORK HARD and loved every minute! In early 2008 amidst the Great Recession, 90% of all Moonlight and Mountain Top employees were laid off and construction came to a halt. Some of you may remember 2006 and on….
Ironically, in the spring of 2008 (10 years after Emily), we found out I was carrying twins! On December 1, 2008, my family was blessed with a healthy girl and boy, Sophia and Samuel Schaufler. Our lives really got busy and interesting after they were born! In 2011, I found myself interested in a small coffee and sandwich shop in downtown Ennis called Corral Creek Coffee Company. Owning and working a coffee shop, as I look back, was the best time ever! It taught me so many skills and really polished my CUSTOMER SERVICE and HARD WORK ethic. Corral Creek gave me knowledge in how to RUN A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS and loved every minute!
As 2016 quickly came upon us, so did the talk of Tony’s dad starting retirement. With Tony having to be gone on the road more than ever for antlers, I wrestled with wanting to be near my sisters and mom in Northern Indiana. I guess at some point in everyone’s life, they want to reminisce and go back to their roots. So, here we are in Crown Point, Indiana! To this day, Tony still works in conjunction with his dad while taking over the family business. They still have the antler warehouses in Ennis and the fleet of trailers. As I said in the beginning, Tony moved to Montana when he was 15 for fishing, hunting, and his love for the land. All this to say, you can take the man from the mountains, but you can’t take the mountains from the man. Dual residency means constant back-and-forth traveling, which is just fine, as the mountains are always calling me too, and we must go!
Our oldest Julie, works at a machinery broker company in Merrillville, Indiana. Our second, Emily, is a manager at Massage Envy in Highland, Indiana. The twins, Sophia and Samuel, are now attending Crown Point High School. You will find Sophia diving on the swim team and Sam wrestling on the mat (CPHS Wrestling hold’s #1 rank in Northwest Indiana-go Bulldogs!).
To our beloved Schaufler clan canines, during the years of raising children and working, we were never alone. We ALWAYS had a dog or two (or three) at our side. Looking back and even today, I really do not think my family could have acquired our accomplishments without the inspirations from our dogs! We have been blessed with Bogey, Nick and Ozzie (all yellow labs, passed), Canella ( passed) and her daughter Ellie (German Shorthair Pointers), Wrigley (English Bulldog, passed), Skye (Great Dane), and Millie (Morkie). Many we have laid to rest who are waiting for us in heaven, but thanks and love go to ALL the dogs in the world who have had fun with us, loved us, waited for us, greeted us, cried with us and have shown the ultimate devotion to us. We love you!
As for Tony and myself, going on 30 years of marriage, we see ourselves doing the same thing: buying, cutting, and selling the best dog chews around! You will find us at shows and markets all over Indiana, Illinois and Michigan (please see our Events page). We brought to Northwest Indiana the knowledge, creativity, and hard work for everything antler, which Mother Nature has given us. Like Tony says, “we will ALWAYS have antler!”
With much love and appreciation,
The Antler Lady