Tag Archives | q&A

Interview with a Handler

In the last post, I interviewed my handler, Kevin, about the ins-and-outs (both physically and mentally ;D) of establishing and nurturing a puppy/handler relationship and we put out the word that we’d be happy to answer any questions from those seeking more detail or simply want us to address a topic that wasn’t covered in our first exchange.
The questions, much like the pups and handlers themselves, varied widely in topic, scope and seriousness. And you know how they say there’s no such thing as a stupid question? Well, some of you out there were definitely trying to see if you couldn’t challenge that idea.
So… without further ado, it’s time for those burning questions (and if that burning continues, you might want to consult your doc), and our attempt to answer them.

Q: )What is it about being a handler while having a PUP that makes you transcend?

KEVIN: Having a puppy, a human one, is for me one of the most precious gifts a guy can be lucky enough to get. Some handlers regard their pups as slaves, some regard them as boys with tails, and others just think of them in the sense of playing out back with a ball, or attending a mosh. For me, it’s a sacred bond. The pup in question (the amazing Amp, in my case) is laying himself bare, and all that you see before you in its beauty is something that is your responsibility as a handler to care for, to nurture and to keep safe. Transcendence, as I understand it, means entering a different plane of mental existence. Certainly when I’m in handler space, all I’m concerned with is growing the bond of love between Amp and myself.

Q: Can we be friends?

Amp and Kevin: Until we know a reason you shouldn’t be … sure, why not?

Q: Being a handler, what kind of enjoyment do you get from having a pup?

KEVIN: I get the unfiltered, unconditional pure rush of affection and devotion from a human being that most only get from a pet. Seeing Amp in real headspace (not the quasi-headspace of a mosh or competition where you have to keep some form of mindfulness in order to not get yourself or anyone else hurt) is a magical display of what two people can do when they’re both dedicated to helping the other find joy and release from the everyday world — and they trust each other to do just that.

Q: What’s your opinion of The Fifth Element, starring Bruce Willis (really guys? lol)?

KEVIN: It’s a B+ sci-fi flick in which Willis’ character refers to himself as a “meatsicle,” which I’ve always thought very funny. However, Willis is also a raging conservative who once cheered Pat Buchannan’s speech at the Republican National Convention calling for a “culture war” against abortionists and homosexuals. I think he’s a terrific actor and a complete douche. Have I gone to the multiplex and seen him since? Yes. And I always buy a ticket for another movie that’s showing around the same time so that he doesn’t get a single dime from me.

Q: How do you, as a trainer, put and keep a pup in headspace?

KEVIN: Well, from having put half a dozen or so pups into headspace over the last year, I can tell you that no two are identical, but they all have common traits. I do have a series of meditations that I use to help escort a guy from his normal plane of consciousness into a deeper communion, primarily with himself. A handler who makes headspace about himself (being worshipped is a common theme) is focusing on the wrong person, if you ask me. I like to “show” through visualization, the person what his pup persona looks like — to him, in his mind’s eye. Rather than forcing my ideals of a pup on them, they can form their own persona and pup self as they see it. And once they’re eyeball to eyeball in that trance moment, I will ask the person to slip over and feel what it’s like to look out from the pup’s eyes. I’ve used mirrors, waterfalls, lakes, and memory as triggers, and I’ve had a pretty fair success rate, if I do say so myself. Happy pups tell you all you need to know. Keeping them there? You have to keep actively reinforcing the metaphor of person-as-pup. You go for a walk (which you could do actually, or in an imaginary world), you play ball; you feed your pup treats (we like lunch meat. It’s healthy and full of protein.), you let him nap on your chest. Activities will reinforce the trance, and make it that much easier to access headspace the next time.

Q: What does being a pup mean to you?

AMP: Well I’ve gone over this topic a number of times, but, in short, being a pup means that I’m into kink, leather, wrestling around and acting like a human puppy.  Being a pup means that I’m playful and cuddly, loving and loyal to friends and handlers I hold close and that I’m putting myself out there to be a part of a community that is supportive and all about fun.  Similarly, it is a way for me to mentally connect on another level with people I hold close, more specifically, a handler I hold close.  I use puppy play and call myself a pup because I enjoy the activities it brings, the people it brings into my life and the open and honest expression I can express.

Q: What does being a handler mean to you?

KEVIN: For me, it means that I have accepted the role of guardian to my pup. No one will hurt him, approach him, scare him, or do anything I don’t approve of, and I do that as I was selected to by the pup who wears my collar. That said, I try to make my choices based not on my own ego, but on Amp’s needs, wants and what I think will most likely nurture or fascinate him. I have stumbled, on occasion, as has my pup. But that’s the nature of who we are as fallible individuals. You make a mistake, you apologize, pick yourself up and move on.

Q: What (as a handler) do you gain from training a puppy, apart from the experience of just owning a puppy?

KEVIN: I get the deep satisfaction of knowing that every bit of tender loving care I put into our bond comes shining out whenever Amp is present. When we attended the International Puppy Competition last November in Florida, you can ask anyone: No one was more proud, more devoted to his pup, or closer than the two of us were. What I gained, beyond that, was a deep sense of who I am and what I do. I mentor, and I nurture, and Amp gives me plenty of opportunities to do both.

And with that last question, I think it’s about time to wrap this posting up.  If you guys have any other questions or comments to myself or to Kevin, please send them our way.   Puppy play is a magical activity that is performed in many different ways, share your experiences here or tell us what you think we should talk about next.  Until then, keep those tails wagging and we will catcha later!! AROUUUUUUUU


Read full story · Comments { 0 }

Commenting On Your Comments

As we start a new year, it feels as though new puppies are coming out of the woodwork everywhere – new organizations being formed and competitions being announced.  And with that, comes a new population of puppies, some experienced, some completely new to the community that lies before them.  To the newcomers, I say welcome to the crazy, opinionated, sometimes unruly and dramatic world that is puppy play; and to the more veteran pups, I ask that you don’t scare the fuck out of the new puppies (how else are we going to resupply if you scare away the fresh meat?).  But in all seriousness, as we head into this new year of fun and play, I look back onto a year full of so many exciting events full of new people, puppies, leathermen and otherwise.  I also, in this being a still new space to which I blog and share opinions, look back onto questions and comments I’ve accumulated over the past couple months. So for today, rather than covering a specific topic, I’m going to comment on your comments, looking back at what was 2013, and answer any lingering questions, comments or opinions that were otherwise still needing to be addressed.

Puppy Comment: “My biggest question about getting into puppy play is how to get started.”

Response: Well let’s start by addressing a very general question that we all have had at one point or another if we’ve been interested in puppy play: “How do I start?” Well the simple answer to that is to be a puppy, be educated and be curious.  Do your research, find a local PAH (Puppies and Handler) group of some kind that you can join.  If no pup group exists in your area, I highly recommend checking out the many puppy groups that exist on Facebook for the very nature of finding other puppies and communicating.  If even that is too daunting a task, to start playing like a pup, visualize what puppies do and how they act, reflect and see yourself as a puppy, focusing on that inner persona and playfulness you wish to capture and see what happens.

Puppy Comment: “Do all puppies have handlers, and if so how does one find a handler?”

Response: Regarding whether all puppies have handlers, the simple answer is no. It all depends on what a puppy wants in his/her puppy relationship, however that looks to them.   Some puppies are looking for a handler/master/trainer while others feel they do not need or even want one.  So to answer that part of the question, no, not all puppies have or need a handler; puppies can be just that: puppies.  As for the how to find a handler, I refer you to a previous blog post that covers that very topic in detail: .

Puppy comment:  “I am super interested in puppy play, but I’ve been discouraged by my Sirs/Mentors about going down this route, as they think getting into puppy play would lessen my ability to be a boy and may restrict myself.”

Response: Preposterous! While being a puppy may get you into a few “restricting” positions *wink*, to assume that being a puppy makes you less of a boy/slave/person in any way shape or form would be making an assumption.  Unless of course they are not only leather masters, but also masters of telepathy and therefore know what you’re thinking.  The fact that you’ve come to this blog would assume that you are at least the a bit interested in puppy play.  In response to any Sirs or Mentors that you may play with, I might tell them that puppy play helps people of all shapes/sizes/genders/backgrounds to open up, and join a community that accepts and empowers them to be more than they thought they could before, not less. The puppy community at times is more accepting than any other group I’ve ever had the opportunity to be a part of. Boys can be puppies, puppies can be boys, Sirs can even be puppies if they want; being a puppy does not detract from a boy headspace, simply adds another facet to who YOU are.

Rather than look at what puppy play seems to be, explain what it is or what you would like it to be to you to your Sir/Mentor. Explain that its about fun, growth, and being yourself in a very primal, very bare bones, innocent sort of way.  I would, in this situation, ask what reservation that your Sir or Mentor has against puppy play, what causes the stigma he has and most importantly, tell him how interested you are in it.  A relationship of any kind where a submissive answers to dominant of some kind is always revolving around and about communication.

Puppy Comment: “How do I begin training as a pup and learning the headspace specifically?

Response: While similar to question one, I find the additional question about headspace the real meat of this question (Mmmmmm meat).  Before we discuss specifically how one can (results may vary) “get into” headspace, lets quickly define “headspace”. Headspace, oddly enough, is best described by urban dictionary as: “The state of mind/consciousness you are in. It may or may not be an altered frame of mind.”

For some, getting into headspace requires a bit of visualization or meditating, and I will direct you to Sirius pups FCT (first collar training) as I believe they do a wonderful job of explaining it in a nice video: .  For others, headspace is about getting into their pup gear: hoods, paws, tail and so forth; like an actor putting on a costume, the puppy needs their alter ego’s wear in order to bring them to fruition.  Finally, the last idea I will leave you with is to find someone who is your superior in this area, someone knowledgeable in puppy play, and feel them out, play and just experience the activity while feeling out what you like and maybe dislike about puppy play.  What gets some into headspace, may in fact, bring you out of it, and so trial and error may be your best way to get into a headspace; besides, as your parents always said, you’ll never know if you like it until you try it.

And with that, I’m in the proper headspace to head to bed and call it a night.  If you like this sort of Q and A sort of blocking, where I give you an honest opinion as someone who always has a pup’s best interests at heart, please like, fav, comment and share.  A community is nothing without the people, puppies and hanlders that make it, so lets look forward to 2014 and continue being the inquisitive, insightful and kinky individuals we all look to be!

Read full story · Comments { 0 }