The lovely Chiaroscuro sent me this link on puppy play and negotiations. We met for a coffee a few weeks back to discuss all things boy-shaped-yet-also-canine. It is to my detriment that I have yet to set a date to actually play with him, my diary is descending once more into chaos and for certain people, such as The Ladies Who... for example it has been almost six months since I last met for more than a drink and a wink across the bar. But, my own planning aside, it's time to seriously consider the puppy and what he is made of beyond the fact that they are fun and make me smile.
The term of address "puppy" is a charming condescension - full of warmth and acceptance of foibles and foolishness, demeaning but not cruel or unkind. The puppy is not a person, but unlike other dehumanising power exchanges this isn't necessarily a bad thing, certainly not when puppy play is desired from the submissive (I can imagine that it would be a key tool in humiliation scenes if someone found it embarrassing to be turned into an animal). For the moment I'll discuss my play with Dandy who wants to be a puppy, who find it a comfortable, pleasant and safe space to be in.
There's two main areas of discussion, the first is how I view him in relation to myself and the second is the activities we partake in (and my thoughts on future activities). More than a puppy, I think of him as my dog. The age is relevant and has a knock-on effect on the sort of training and situations that work well. He's a smart dog, well groomed, honed and completely house trained. He is also a strong animal, loyal and with well developed protective instincts. In my mind he is an Alsatian, perhaps a police dog, muscular, a little aggressive and able to rip the throat out of anyone who upsets me. I've probably been watching too much True Blood (is there such a thing?) but I'm also thinking Werewolf - I absolutely derive a thrill from submission by those physically stronger and more powerful than me, whose power I can either turn against them or use to do my bidding. I think he sees himself more of a Labrador, but we're both working within a tolerable range of dog-types.
For myself, I am certainly his owner, and probably his trainer, though he is quite well behaved and his own desire to please means that I don't require much in the way of choke leads or rolled up newspaper - just as well as that sort of thing done too often would become quite tiresome I imagine - "forced" submission is not high on my list of things I enjoy.
Our play has generally more puppy-flavoured than being pure bred animal only play. We don't use a lot of kit or do much in the way of puppy dress up. There is a butt plug with a lovely wolfish tail that I like to use on him when I can - the physical shape and pressure it creates is a sign of my ownership - I can stroke and play with it and he'll feel the vibrations. On one rather memorable moment he started to whimper because I was leaning on his tail. Also, it just looks damn hot against his naked bottom. Hoods are a bit of a difficulty, which is unfortunate because I quite like them, so I'm considering some sort of muzzle that isn't as enclosing but creates the right shape. Similarly, paws.
In terms of how the dog looks he will be mostly naked and always on all fours - we do a lot of work on posture - how he holds himself, sits etc and I tend to move him around by placing a hand on the scruff of his neck. He will waggle his bottom when happy and licks my face when excited. He even has certain puppyish characteristics when not strictly in role. He will happily sit at my feet, makes tiny growls of pleasure if his neck is scratched and says "ruff" every now and then - the frequency of his doing these things is often a good indication of how submissive he is feeling.
Play involves a lot of stroking, general fuss and just having him around as a dog - it's quite light because he's well behaved and doesn't require much punishment plus even I find it a challenge to be cruel to a dog for no reason. Even giving him a wash in the shower on all fours or grooming with an epilator caused a lot of unhappy looks and whimpers that made me feel mean, and not in a good way. I generally stick to light taps around the cock and balls area when I feel like delivering something harder. I'm quite keep to employ electricity in future sessions, but the violet wand seems like the wrong tool - remote control pads would be better. I also want to do some more longer term play where he's in dog mode for an entire evening, and then perhaps take him out to a club or to do some socialising classes with other dogs.