I'm doing a lot of pet play at the moment, admittedly a lot of it is long-distance with Ten. He's taken to it extremely well, or at least to the imagery and idea of it, things like fetching balls, eating from a bowl on the floor and begging for titbits have inspired strong sexual responses. He's highlighted the fact that whilst in normal life the idea of begging is abhorrent, there is a definite draw to doing it as a puppy. For me, this illustrates how the depersonification of someone and can be extremely liberating, especially to those who can find challenges with their (human) submissive selves.
Puppies, and pets in general, allow for a freer range of submissive / dependent expression without the need for rational thought or "performance anxiety" - you are able to divest yourself of the responsibilities of being a person, or even of being a human submissive, and run on instinct. There's a different sort of responsibility in being the dominant in a mistress/pet scenario than in a mistress/slave situation. Whilst the term "ownership" is just as applicable, the D/s power exchange feels more nurturing - a puppy needs to have lots of things done for them, and they need a certain amount of looking after whereas a human slave can exist to serve the desires of the dominant. Training goes hand in hand with owning a puppy, but there is a certain lightness of touch, after all puppies don't know any better and are somewhat accident prone. Behaviour that would be unpleasantly bratty in a human slave can be endearing in a puppy - which isn't to say I intend to tolerate much in the way of naughty puppies, but I do think that they naturally have more leeway, a wining puppy is sweet for longer than a wining human being.
That might just be me expressing my natural English tendency to prefer animals - especially dogs - to people.
I'm trying to work out what it is about puppies that does it for me - and they really do it for me, so much so I'm amazed that I haven't done more with them earlier. I think in part it's driven by Ten's enthusiasm, but other people as puppies also flicks my switch. They make me excited and also very happy, much like real puppies - I grin when I think about them. Sometimes I giggle. Puppy play is basically fun. Puppies are cute - well, I think that they are cute - and a lot of the activities associated with puppies naturally tend toward the playful: ball throwing, tickling, lots of stroking and petting. A good puppy is affectionate, they do a lot of licking, which is also rather cute. They also get a lot of kit - heavy, restrictive leather kit. Paws are an absolute must, and I'm leaning towards a muzzle, or at least head-harness that has the sensation of a muzzle. And, of course, collar and lead. Plus a butt plug with tail, for him to wag.
Aesthetically, I love the look of a well-turned out puppy boy (and it is mostly boys). I'm not big on furry outfits - to me the result should be very slick, a leatherclad puppy, more of a dog actually, with firm musculature, lots of flesh showing and plenty of restrictive straps that alter the shape of the body into something more animal, then going further and making something beyond the animal. The pleasure is in knowing that a human being has offered themselves up to be presented and treated this way, to be moulded into that perfect pet. I'm looking forward to taking Ten through the transformation process, starting with a good scrub down on all fours in the bath tub (or outside if there's a convenient moment) and then putting on all of the kit.
I also think it will be a good format for him to engage in group scenes in a controlled environment. I had a small but perfectly formed "puppy picnic" with Spiral and her puppy over the weekend - there should have been a few more people and puppies, but real life got in the way. I'm hoping in time to organise a regular meet up for those who are pet-play inclined, partly because I want to learn more, but also because I would like to run some scenes around pet training, including socialisation and other group animal activities. Perhaps if I'm feeling nice I might attempt to secure a bitch for Ten, if he's been good.