So I finally went to event. And I say finally because this is something I have been wanting to get the confidence and time to do for some months. I went along to February's pup out in London. To say the least I was really nervous. I went to the pre-meet and maybe said four words, "can I sit here?" The nerves didn't go away as I entered the venue either. I found myself bruising the back of my hand with my own nails out of stress. But I had got that far, I couldn't give up now. So I gradually took out my pup hood and placed it on. Suddenly, everything was fine.
This was the first time I had really felt myself enter the pup head space, I was largely free from all my anxieties and worries. I didn't care at all how bad I thought I looked compared to others. It didn't matter how much or how little other gear I had on (including my collar). All that I needed to do was work out who I was in this new enviroment.
I was slow out of the booth where I had place my belongings but saw some others playing in the ball pool. I gradually managed to convince myself to join in feeling a tad overwelmed by not knowing anybody but felt welcome none the less. I loved having others respond to me as another pup, small actions over words, ect. But gradually I grew tired of digging around for squeaky toys, what I really wanted to do was get comfy in the soft area.
A small amount of human dread came back as I contemplated going in as I still felt largely alone and there were other pups inside but were all in pairs cuddling. This also felt very much of a pup reaction so it didn't bother me much. I found myself wishing I had someone with me, a handler, or another pup I was close to, but eventually I took the plundge when the area emptied out a little, curled in a corner of my own and shortly after to my surprise I was met by a hand giving me strokes. It was wonderful. I was aware that the owner of the hand was primarily with a different pup and so kept my distance a little but lapped up all the attention I could get. If there was anything that broke me out of my shell completely it was this. I remember hearing the phrase, "I love pups" and thinking to myself, "I love being one." This small interaction really was just what I needed and honestly thank you to whoever that was.
The rest of the event flew by in comparison to building up to that moment, I was back and forth between being sleepy and playful. Eventually I was greeted by a human who decided to give me lots of attention, I found myself wanting to to cuddle up to them as they stroked me all over and gradually settled for curling up in and around their legs, I felt very much at home and secure. I later spoke to that human as well as some others out of my gear, was talked into telegram and just overall made to feel very welcome not just as a pup but as a person.
Honestly I was not expecting to enjoy the event as much as I did, in some ways I was kinda hoping I wouldn't so that I could just not do it again, but I had a really great time. This has raised some issue though, I now find myself wanting to go to more events like this one, but also see what other events are like. Not just that but I really want to make some pup/ handler friends that I can play with in smaller settings.
The reason that is an issue is that my partner doesn't enjoy pup play. He can't treat me as a pup because he can only see me as a person. This may change with time but in the immediate we don't really know how to respond. Being in a closed relationship we don't really want to open up, but I also don't think I could trust myself to not get overly tempted if I was playing with other pups in private, which I think I would enjoy greatly. We are discussing how to go forwards but if anyone else has had simular problems any amount of experience would be greatly apprieciated?