As we laid the plans for what would become Regal Dog Products, we sought to combine two of our favorite things; our beloved dogs, and the process of creating world-class products.
Regal Dog Products was created to celebrate the unique relationship between a dog and his people. We offer American-made leashes and collars for your pup using only the finest American leathers and textiles.
We build our products domestically, transport them minimally, and they’ll be replaced rarely.
My name is David Schomer and I am the founder of Regal Dog Products. At Regal Dog Products, our goal is to turn our unconditional love for dogs into outstanding products that keep dogs happy, healthy, and safe in whatever adventure they may partake in.
Since childhood, dogs have played a critical role in my life. They have brought on different blessings at different times. If anyone wonders why I am so passionate about dogs, read below about how my three dogs have provided relationships, adventures, and memories that are, what I believe to be, essential to the human experience.
Buddy was my first dog – a one-eyed golden retriever. The picture to the right includes my dad, Buddy, and myself shortly after Buddy became a part of our family. We adopted Buddy into our family when he was 10-years old from our neighbor “Al” who was in his 90s and could no longer take care of the 80-pound bundle of joy. There is a pretty funny story about the “adoption” of Buddy that is chronicled in this YouTube video. My brother and I enjoyed the company of Buddy and took him on many adventures around the neighborhood and in the woods behind our house. It was very early on in my childhood that I realized the special bond between a person and a dog.
When I was in the first grade, my parents got a divorce which took a toll on me. On top of that, I was struggling to make friends in school and life wasn’t going the way I hoped it would. It was around that time that my parents decided to get a puppy, which acted as a catalyst for great change and a pivot towards happiness with my new companion – Lucky.
I had always dreamed of having a “hunting dog” and in the Fall of 1999, that dream came true when Lucky entered my life. She was a chocolate lab that became my best friend and partner in adventure. Shortly after getting Lucky, my family moved out to the country where I was able to take Lucky on many adventures, including one of my favorite life experiences – pheasant hunting with my own bird dog. For the entire first season, we came home empty handed, but that did not matter. The feeling of independence that I got from taking my dog to my neighbor’s farm and hunting is something that I will never forget. The picture on the left is from our second season hunting where we harvested our first rooster pheasant. I was ecstatic about the first successful hunt and ran all the way home to show it off to my parents and younger brothers. Here are a few memories from that first successful hunt:
We were no more than 15 minutes into the hunt on a cool December morning in the fields of Eastern Iowa. We decided to try out a new spot on a neighboring farm which had a long fence row with switch grass about chest high. As she had done in the past, Lucky began running through the switch grass looking for an evasive Iowa “ring-neck.” All of a sudden, she flushed a rooster pheasant about 10 feet from where I was standing. I shouldered my Remington 870, 28 gauge, put the bead on the rooster and pulled the trigger. The rooster fell into the tall switch grass and my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest with excitement. I ran up to where the bird fell and did not see it. The excitement quickly turned into disappointment as I searched and searched with no rooster to be found for what seemed like an eternity.
As I sit here, twenty years later recalling this story, I can close my eyes and replay this experience in such vivid detail – I could tell you where I was standing when I shot that rooster pheasant. I don’t just mean that I could take you back to the farm or the field that I was in…I could tell you where my right and left foot were planted in the dirt when Lucky came out of the tall switch grass with a dead rooster in her mouth. I have very few memories that are this vivid, but this is one that I will hold onto and cherish for the rest of my life.
As I entered high school, Lucky became gray around her muzzle but the adventures continued. When deciding on senior pictures, it was obvious that Lucky would have to be included. The picture to the right is from the Fall of 2009, the last year that I would live under the same roof as Lucky.
In 2010, I went off to college and definitely experienced homesickness – missing my parents, younger brothers, and certainly Lucky. Life felt incomplete as I no longer was greeted by a cheerful chocolate lab when I got home from class. During my first Christmas break home, it was obvious that father-time had taken a toll on Lucky, and her days on earth were numbered. That following Spring, I came home from college and noticed that Lucky was not laying on the bed that she always retired to in the evening. I made eye contact with my mom. No words were spoken but the look in her tearful eyes told me everything that I needed to know. It was clear that Lucky had passed and was no longer with us.
Lucky is buried behind our barn on the family farm and from time-to-time, I visit her grave and have a good cry, remembering my childhood best friend and companion.
In 2016, I married my college sweetheart and we began our life together. After living several years in an apartment, we were now ready to start renting a house and a “big yard” was very important to both of us as we wanted to get a dog. In 2017, we welcomed Bailey into our life, a yellow lab full of energy and joy. Bailey was the center of our life and we took her on many adventures, frequenting state parks, national forests, and rivers all around the Midwest on canoe trips.
In 2019, we were ecstatic to welcome our first child into our family – Henry. Our hearts were filled with love and joy with the newest addition to our family. However, we were concerned that Bailey may become jealous as she was no longer “the center of our life.” That concern quickly dissipated when Bailey seemed to take a liking to the new member of the family. Bailey was Henry’s new best friend and she was incredibly protective of him as he started crawling around the house. Henry’s first two-syllable word was “Bailey” (pronounced “BAAAWWW-WAAAA”). As Henry grows older and his taste in toys and activities changes, the one thing that remains constant is his love to play fetch in the yard with Bailey.
It fills our hearts with joy to see our dog and son form such a tight bond. I can only hope that as he grows older, he will continue his adventures with Bailey and form some of his own memories with his dog, as I did as a young boy with Lucky.
Over the last 30+ years, I have learned that dogs our not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. I can only hope that the customers of Regal Dog Products form incredible bonds with their dogs and make memories that will last them a lifetime.