Dear new friends in the leather pup world,
It is a great honor to be able to share the following personal accounts with all of you about a special pup that the universe has "plopped" at my feet. I know most of you have either met or heard of her through various "pug mails" on the internet. I'm laughing here, because part of me (the sadistically sweet side) wishes to remain the mythical trainer in the background. Is he real? Is the pug we all know gone mad? What is all this talk about training? Is she for real as she rambles on about this subconscious character that speaks of obedience, muses on spirituality in leather and walks around with a clicker praising her with "good girl"? As much as I think that would be fun to watch her try to explain, it is as much fun to share my views as a new trainer in hopes that what she and I explore will bring joy and insight to other leather pups.
Who am i? Briefly I am a slave in Master Steve's leather family. I came under His ownership and guidance in January of 2002, having just recently discovered the previously unknown and personally misunderstood realm of BDSM. I had a mentor prior to meeting my Master that pointed me on a path of learning about the lifestyle. Many would refer to it as a "traditional" way of leather discovery. It was an introduction to the principles of honor, discipline, obedience, and respect that underlies the relationship dynamics of D/s. That is another story for another time, but in a nutshell I came from nowhere and fell face first into the scene without a clue of what to expect. It's been a fast paced, enlightening ride filled with utter joy and difficult emotional hurdles.
I recall hearing of pug long before I ever met her. Even before I had met my Master, while exploring the lifestyle through the internet, I happened across pug mail and the ever-present musing,"Room with a pug View". I was amused and intrigued. Who was this charming person that identified with a short squishy face, poorly ventilated dog? What the heck was this puppy play thing all about? Having had no previous knowledge that such a practice existed, I was simply intrigued by the whole idea and by this person that so eloquently captured the playful nature of a pup in her musings.
My Master is the founder of Butchmann's S/M Academy. On one particular weekend in March (my first exposure to various s/m practices) I met pug, my new slave sister. I recall the resurgence of intrigue when we met. I really wanted to know what goes on in the head and heart of a pup. What is this all about for you? I am very curious about why people do the things we do, especially when they are out of the norm. Our first meeting was very friendly, rather quiet and wasn't highlighted by any sort of instant electrical buzz that you can get when you meet a kindred spirit.
At one point in the weekend though, I noticed pug slumped under a table with a tennis shoe between her paws, chomping away with a new glint in her eye. I recall smiling and watching her for a bit, fascinated by my first glimpse at a human pup. Where was she? Was she really hearing the "wa wa" human voices of the Peanuts parents in her head as she claimed in her musings? Not real sure what to do, I was compelled to kneel down next to her, pat her head, pull on the tennis shoe playfully, speak to her as I would a dog and offer her a bowl of water. It just seemed like the right thing.
As fate would have it, I found myself having to fly to her hometown for work about 2 months after that meeting. I contacted her to see if we could get together for dinner while I was in town and the universe took over from there. What ensued over the next several weeks and months can only be described as a powerful connecting and opening of spirits. We exchanged long philosophical e-mails about our understanding of ourselves, our slavery, our life histories, dreams, passions, D/s, our trials and our joys in life. Unbeknownst to both of us at the time, we were building a strong foundation of trust and honesty that is at the core of our current pup and trainer relationship.
Notable throughout our dialogue was pug's persistence that "pugs can't be trained", "i'm just a clueless pug," and on and on with resistance to possibilities that could enhance her own experience base. I had no agenda to be her trainer: the thought never really crossed my mind. I had no intentions of being anything but a brotherly spirit in her leather life ...she even resisted that for a while too. *laughing What was happening however was that, for whatever reason, the dynamics of our interactions shifted as she began to feel that somehow I was influencing her. Her perception was that I represented an alpha spirit in her life and that there was something she had to learn from me. I accepted that idea from her, although I shared that I had no idea what that could possibly be. At the time, in my own path, I was in the process of amazing personal and spiritual awakening, having tapped a deep primal/primitive warrior archetype. There were forces at work in both of us that are hard to fully describe.
The next time we saw each other, we were meeting up with our Master and the rest of our leather family in Colorado for a leather event called Thunder in the Mountains. By now, our slave sibling relationship had blossomed into a deeply trusting bond and a level of physical intimacy emerged. There was an erotic animal energy that we playfully and innocently explored. We are encouraged in our leather family to be open with each other and not hesitate to show affection with kisses, warmth and compassion. Our exploration revealed this fun, growling, often hungry, lustful animal that broke down some intimate inhibitions of physical barriers between us.
After a long night of activity in the Thunder dungeon, my Master gave me pug's leash while she was in full pup mode and instructed me to take her for a walk through the dungeon. Pup Tim and Master Skip (International Pup and Trainer 2002 and also part of our extended leather family) were also there. Having never taken a pug on a walk before, I watched carefully as she plodded through the very busy dungeon, sticking her nose in someone's boot, snortling and snarfing through an unguarded play bag and joyfully bounding into a pile of foam blocks to "puppy mosh" for a bit. I also watched others, watch her. It's interesting to observe the mixed reactions of curiosity, humor and sometimes confusion of people observing puppy play. I was not comfortable when she would poke her nose in someone's play bag. In every dungeon I have ever been in, this is a no-no and I would tug her leash, tell her no and move on. I let her off the leash for a while and she went padding off on her pup adventure... my heart leapt when she started scrambling blindly into a single tail scene and I had to practically dive at her to redirect her path. BAD HANDLER, BAD! Later, we discussed the experience and it was then that I think we both realized the importance of training a human pup who has entered into a state of altered consciousness and limited awareness.
Prior to that weekend I had wanted to explore my own pup side. In fact it was a task given to me by my Master at one point several weeks prior: I was to seek out someone that I could pup play with for at least fifteen minutes. I had been looking around within my own local community and could not find someone that I trusted enough to go into that uncharted territory with me. Pup play is not a real big scene in my hometown. I spoke of this with Pup Tim while at Thunder. The morning after the pup session, during a presentation on leather spirituality hosted by my Master and Master Skip, I touched pup space at the feet of Pup Tim. He was sitting in the front row of the small amphitheater. pug was on one side of Him and he motioned to me to rest at his feet on the other side. For over an hour and a half his hand never left my head. Soft pats and scratches sent me into my first experience into the mindset of a pup. I curled at his feet and rested, drifting in and out of human cognition as words of significance stood out from the presentation that was going on. I was moved to such a serene and peaceful feeling that warm tears rolled slowly from my eyes. I had been given the gift of knowing the bliss of accepting and being a pup, even if just for a Sunday morning.
pug and I had gotten together once more after Thunder, prior to our first official training session. It was a simple session to actually do some more formal pup play together. We met at our Master's home and spent about two hours working together, playing together and hanging out. Although it was not a formal training session, there were some attempts at certain obedience issues that had arisen from our experience at Thunder. It was a pleasant session. I became familiar with her gear, her toys, the process she goes through to prepare and it gave me a clearer idea of certain pup play techniques that she was accustomed to. At the end of the successful session, pug handed me her nylon collar, black with white bones printed around the surface. She offered it as a sign of her trust, asking me if I would be willing to be her trainer. I was to hold onto this collar until we met again. When it is time, "When you feel I have earned it...", she told me, I am to return the collar with a tag of my choosing.
On this day we formalized our pup and trainer relationship.