IPC titleholder Slavepup Axel recently posted a very interesting (and thorough) report. He did a qualitative survey of lots of pup group leaders around the country about challenges they face. I can tell Axel put a lot of time into this report, and it offers a really great, big-picture overview of the state of the pup community right now… which amazed me w/ how much it has grown and is growing. He mentions numerous pup organizations, clubs, and contests. (I’ve decided that we pups should boast about the fact that we are so cool that we require TWO international pup contests. One isn’t enough to capture our collective awesomeness. LOL)
Let me first back-up here… I’ve been active in the BDSM scene for 12 years (preceded by a couple of years of Stand & Model S&M) and I’ve been a pup for almost 9 years (since very early [February?] ’05). For almost all of that time I was the only pup I knew. There were no other pups who ever came to CAPEX or TAAG or Lynx or LaFortress or Whippersnappers or any of the places I haunted. My Owner took me to Frolicon almost every year since it began, and she would always let me pup-out and led me around on-leash at the con in front of hundreds of people. Loved it! But there was just me. (The one exception in all those years was Boy Andy’s puppy persona Needa w/ whom I was able to romp a couple of times. And also I guess you could count the first time we went to SELF  when I briefly encountered another pup who said there was going to be a mosh that night in the dungeon… but Ma’am and I weren’t able to make it, so that was that…) Even most of my old friends in my home club (CAPEX, Charlotte) had never even seen me pup-out… and the couple of times at CAPEX I did pup-out it was just me. For years I did almost all of my pupping out at home w/ only my Owner.
All of that is pretty tough if being a pup is your main kink and an important part of your identity. I’m still almost the only pup I know of in NC, but now, I’m a member of the coolest puppy pack out of Atlanta, GA. So my pack is about a 4.5 hour drive away from me. I make it a goal to get down there to sniff everybody once a month, and sometimes the stars align and I see my pack twice in a month. But the fact that there is a pack w/in 5 hours of me is something that would not have been the case just a couple of years ago. I joined Loki’s pack last year and brought the “official” membership up to three. There are now like five of us in the “core group” of Loki’s pack w/ several (maybe 7 or 8?) other Atlanta puppies who circle in more or less elliptical orbits around Sir. So, I could say, in general, the number of pups I know of in Atlanta looks like it doubled in just the last year. It’s crazy.
Now let me return to Axel’s survey. Te read about so many pup groups springing-up around the country (most of the pup groups/clubs/packs surveyed are less than two years old) is very, very cool. To read of pup/Handler groups w/ 40 or more members makes my jaw drop. It’s amazing to me how fast this scene is taking off. And 60 members in SEA-PAH! Wow! What are they putting in the water up there?
It’s definitely a really exciting time to be a puppy. One of my major goals for next year is to make it to one of the big pup gatherings: I’m looking at either IML’s Woof Camp or CLAW. (CLAW falls right on Ma'am and I's birthdays next year, so that would be a cool birthday trip...) I’d love to go to all of them, but financially I think I can only really afford one event like that per year. Maybe I’ll see you there!