I was recently chatting to another pup who had been in quite a destructive relationship - and who's 'Owner' had used the pup's status as 'dog' to him persuade into accepting emotionall blackmail, physical abuse and financial dependancy: stating "But you wanted to be a dog - and that's how dogs are treated. Dog's don't have rights..."
Finally the pup had the self-preservation to leave - but he did ask me "How do you know when you have found the right Owner...?"
The idea of being 'Owned' can be an attractive and powerful fantasy (for both pup *and* Owner). But don't let the fantasy distract you: it is effectively - and simply - a relationship.
Just like any relationship, it requires Trust and Respect and Honesty - and both parties have to benefit from the exchange and feel enriched by it. It is very easy to get lost in the idea that it's all about being a piece of property or a pet - that you are 'just a dog' and that everything is up to the Handler. But that's not even true of being the owner of a *real* dog, never mind a human-pet with a life separate from the play-room...
You can't let the 'BDSM/puppy-play' bit confuse you too much: -whether you spend all of your time on 2-legs or 4-legs it's still a relationship, and should be judged on similar terms:
- Do you respect Him - can you trust Him?
- Does He respect you and consider your own needs (and safety)?
- Does He treat you as a human being 1st and a dog 2nd?
- Do you know you are safe (even whilst He pushes and stretches your limits)...?
So, how do You know when you've found the right one?
To me, it's when He treats you with equal care and respect as Dominance - when He shows that your well-being is as important to Him as His getting off - when He encourages You and helps you to become a better *person* as much as a more obedient dog...
It's when you realise that you love Him, and that He is worthy of that love - *and* that He returns that love fully and completely.
It's when you realise that you would do anything and everything for Him - and He knows it and is honoured by it; but you also know that He would never take advantage of that devotion - or of you.
When that happens you really genuinely are 'Owned' - body and soul: a collar is an optional extra ;)