I met my Owner, the fantastic Shdwkitten, in November of 2004 at a mutual friend’s private play party, and we started dating right after Thanksgiving. Now, I had long been interested in puppy play, but had never seen it – had never met a pup! I‘d been fairly active in the lifestyle for 2.5 years, playing as an un-collared, general purpose masochist… but pup play isn’t something that’s common in the het community – particularly ours, which is very male-dom/fem-sub, so we have a dearth of boys, much less pups… But there was a pup-play demo at Whippersnappers early in ’05 – Kitten wasn’t interested, but seeing that I was, she agreed to drive down to
w/ me. She hadn’t yet collared me; we
were still just dating. Near the end of
the demo, the presenter asked for volunteers to come up and try it. Andrew took the opportunity to “volunteer”
me. Well, this was something I was eager
to try, so it didn’t take much work for him to talk me into it. :) Atlanta
I went up front, and the speaker asked the audience, “What breed do you think he is?” Instantly somebody in the room shouted back, “Irish wolfhound!” Just like that. That’s me – tall, shaggy, and Celtic.
So that was my first pup play experience. Ma’am collared me shortly after… but we still didn’t identify as “Owner & puppy” for a while yet… that evolved rather organically over many months. For me, I started out “doing” puppy play… and rather gradually realized that being a pup was something I just naturally was. In retrospect, I can see that “pup” was always there, under the surface... even if I didn’t always bark at motorcycles.
One bittersweet moment stands out as an early (and to us, important) moment when my pup-self came forward w/o it being “play.” My Owner recently wrote on her Fet blog about how she was once raped by someone in the lifestyle. That was very, very brave of her to write about it and share that! Well, the day the rape occurred she didn’t know where to turn. She called a mutual, out-of-town friend of ours, and he told her to go to me. She was reluctant b/c we had JUST started dating, and she didn’t want to show-up on my doorstep w/ a boatload of emotional trauma – worried what I might think of her. But he insisted: “Go to Emrys; he’ll take care of you!”
She tried to compose herself, but as soon as I answered the door she burst into tears. I let her in w/o a word, and she plopped down on my back deck sobbing. I can remember how we didn’t speak at all. I didn’t ask her any questions. My response was completely non-verbal. I ran and fetched her a cookie and sat it down on her knee like an offering. My simple, silly act made her smile and chuckle. I just plopped down w/ her, snuggled… I put my head in her lap, and she petted my hair.
It was the farthest thing on earth from puppy play… but it was the essence of being a pup. My human was hurt, I didn’t know why, but all I wanted to do was to snuggle-up… to do something simple, silly, and playful, and make her feel better. No talking. No “thinking” in words. Just to be present. To be there w/ her. I don’t know… but I think maybe that’s when we both decided (w/o talking about it) that from then on, come Hell or high water, I would always be there at her side.
Canis lupus familiaris. “Familiaris” means “Family member.” And did you know that “Fido” is Latin for “I am faithful”? It’s related to “fidelity.” In art, the dog is commonly a symbol of devotion and faithfulness. Notice the little pooch in Jan Van Eyck’s famous 15th century wedding portrait? That’s what he’s doing there.
People are often surprised to hear that I’ve been close w/ my circle of best friends for over 20 years now… but to me it’s unthinkable that it would be otherwise. I guess, like other canines, once I bond w/ someone, I tend to stay pretty glued to them. I would walk through fire for those guys. But to my Owner, above all, I will be her loyal hound until the day I die… and if I can find a way back to her after that, I will.