Often times when people enter into the world of puppy, they bring a sense of wonder and excitement with them. Some of the most fun people to hang around are the ones just discovering exactly how fun puppy play can be. The loss of inhibition that comes with entering head-space is intoxicating and liberating; being a puppy is fun.
Puppies, both human and canine, are pack animals. Very rarely do you encounter the dog who turns away company, and very rarely do you find the puppy who can’t stand to be around other people in any capacity. The playfulness inherent in each puppy is amplified when you add additional puppies to the mix. When puppies get together, the games begin, from boop-wars to full on body-glomps, we play and we play hard. In most social circles, this isn’t really acceptable behavior, but in the world of human puppies, we don’t care. We have our own rules of what is and what isn’t socially acceptable.
The only things truly needed to be a puppy are a sense of fun and excitement, as a willingness to let your walls down. It’s very hard to enjoy puppy play if you can’t let go of inhibitions and reservations about interacting socially with people. But that’s all you need; 2 things. Puppy is not about having the gear, even though it’s nice. It’s not about sex, even though again, sex is nice. None of that is required to be a puppy. Puppy is a mindset, not a fashion statement or a bedroom choice. It’s simply the way you interact with people, in an honest and open manner.
For myself, when I have the opportunity to let my puppy side out, I relish that chance. Being Nuke allows me to live almost completely in the current moment. Nuke doesn’t have bills to pay, meetings to go to, errands to run, Nuke just wants pets and play time. It’s incredibly liberating to let go of mundane worries in lieu of a squeaky toy. The simple joy of playing tug of war with another puppy or stealing a beach ball during a mosh is an indescribably primal rush and it just makes me so happy, in ways that regular entertainment have never accomplished. I don’t get the same thrill from playing a video game as I do surprise booping another puppy.
The puppy community, in my experience has largely been one of welcoming, one of acceptance and one of belonging. There have been several instances where I have found myself awake at night, laying in bed and unable to go to sleep, because I was just overwhelmed at finally finding a place where I belong and having so many people I can call my family now. The community I love has always been a place where I felt I belonged and that I could simply be who I was, either as a human, a puppy, or both.
Another thing that is unique to puppy, is how much we care for those around us. A predominant personality trait among many puppies is empathy. We tend to have a better understanding of the emotions of those around us than many other people do. Now, that is not me saying that only puppies are capable of empathy, or that all puppies are empathetic towards others, that isn’t true and is not a generalization I’m going to make. What I am saying is that empathy seems to happen with a greater frequency among those involved in the puppy community than it does among those not involved. As puppies, our goal is not only to make ourselves happy, but to make those around us happy. It bothers us when someone is down about something or otherwise depressed and there is nothing we can do for that person. We are, ultimately a loving community and should strive to remember that. There are enough outside influences that will aim to tear us down, and if we loose sight of what being a puppy is, we lose something tremendously important in our own sense of identity. There will be a never-ending list of hate and vitriol towards LGBT groups and other marginalized communities, there should be no room for negativity to come from within as well. Even if we do not always agree, our goal should not be to incite conflict among our own community.
Puppies love one another, and I truly believe that. We don’t always have to get along, it doesn’t always have to be roses and sunshine, but we are in this world together so we might as well try and get along.