Wednesday, November 07, 2012

#GetRuff, Amsterdam. Saturday: Puppy-play workshop

Saturday morning, and we headed over to our favourite Warmoesstraat for a lovely traditional 'Farmer's breakfast' of eggs and cheese at the Cheese factory, before going on to the glorious Mr B for their second hand leather sale.

They had quite a pile of those lovely cargo-pocketed breeches that I had lusted after, but sadly they were all 28" waists and would barely cover a single leg never mind my growing love-handles (growl). But, I did manage to find a perfect pup-sized pair of Dutch motorcycle police jeans, just like the ones that my Man has (and which I have lusted after for years) - so what could I do but buy them too...

(Sir: that's two new pairs of jeans,  jockstrap and a shirt that my pup has 'invested in' on this visit. Not that I'm counting...!)

Shopping done, we headed back to the hotel for a short nap and a wardrobe change, then it was back to  the Warmoesstraat and the Eagle for the Amsterdam Kink Academy's puppy-play workshop - led by Master Olivier and pup Sparky, and ably assisted by Master Dave and pup squeak.

Puppy play!

There were about 20 of us in the group, with a nice mix of experienced players and novices. Most were there as potential Handlers, but there were a half dozen pups too (including one brave 'straight' pup who was there as a stray, and whom Sir kindly adopted for the session); it was good to have such a range of attendees, since it meant that we had multiple points of view for discussion.

I knew it was going to be a good afternoon when Master Olivier started the session by getting everyone - Masters and Handlers too! - down on all fours so that they could see the world from a puppy's perspective: and realise that it is a world that consists only of boots and legs and hands! (wuff!); He was also careful to point out that to really interact with a pup, the Master should squat so that He comes down to His pup's level.

Over the four hours we were given lots of good advice and demonstrations: from simple ways to tape a boy's hands into paws with duct tape, to a pass-around of the highest quality puppy mitts and hoods that money could buy (including Sparky's own made-to-measure terrier hood, with working jaw). Master Oliver was very good at encouraging everyone to try each item, too - especially the mitts and knee-pads, so that the potential Master's could see the difference in padding and protection that each afforded.

Master Olivier also made a point of the many safety aspects to be considered - including the cleanliness of the floor (and the need to be careful of sharp objects that could stick in a pup's paws or knees!) and the need to ensure there is plenty of fluids available, since being on all fours is extremely strenuous, and a pup needs to remain hydrated to stay well (Sir was very helpful on safety too - drawing on His nursing and A&E training to point out the dangers of pressure on circulation points, and the potential over-heating when playing in gear or hoods; He also showed how He uses a bottle and straw to let the pup drink easily when out at a club - and had the pup demonstrate how he moves on padded knuckles and booted toes, which makes him more agile and helps to protect his knees).

Master Olivier also brought lots of nice puppy toys, which he tossed into the mosh pit - resulting in a hilarious cacophony of growls and squeaks that silenced any further talk for quite a while (Note to Santa: please Sir, this pup would love one of the squeaky newspapers - if it's been a good enough boy..!!).

With so many pups, it did get quite rowdy and physical at times - it was my first time with so many brother-pups, and I can be quite a shy pup, very aware of my smaller size and strength; I admit that I felt a bit overwhelmed by all the rough-housing, and so I tended to stay by my Man's side - but I had a lot of fun watching my pup brothers wrestle and play so excitedly.

Since the rubber-suit had caused so many problems at the rubber-party, Sir had me go to the workshop in just boots, paws and a harness. It was a unique experience for me to be a naked pup at a public event, and I did feel very 'exposed' at first - but strangely, I felt much more comfortable once I had my hood on. Sir also said that it was a pleasure to see my naked butt with my tail clearly filling my hole - and that I looked a very smart hound with all my ink on display.

We took a short break after a couple of hours, before ending the session with a nicely relaxed Q&A session. Then Master Dave asked me to close the day by giving a short reading from 'Assimilation'.

I decided to read the beginning section from 'A Northern Kennel'. It seemed to be a good choice: everyone said that they were intrigued to know what happened next, and wanted to read the rest of the story :). Master Dave was very sweet and encouraged everyone to buy a copy - so I was very pleased that I had thought to pack a few copies. I was even a little embarrassed when everyone asked me to sign their purchases like some kind of superstar...!

Best of all, Master Dave bought a couple as a 'Thank you' for Master Olivier and Sparky - for which they both also thanked me.

It made me feel very proud - and my Man a little tearful!

Addendum: photos of the workshop are now available on the AKA website; faces have been blurred, but the pups are very exposed and their identities easy to establish, so please do not share or post them anywhere else

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