I was lucky enough to be present this past Sunday when Scout was announced as Ottawa Pup 2012 at the local Leather Pride Competition.
I put together a few questions for Scout about his win and how he plans to represent the Ottawa Pup Community this year. He was quick to get back to me so that I could post this as part of my Pride Week coverage.
How did it feel to win Ottawa Pup 2012?
I have to to admit that I was very literally speechless when they announced the first runner up. My mind went blank, and I remember MC Mike Tattersall looking at me. I guess I was waiting for my name to be announced, and didn't realize everyone else was simply waiting for me to come up and claim my prize. For the next day, all I could think of saying when people congratulated me was a very sincere "Thank you!" because I really couldn't fathom that I was going to be the face of pups within Ottawa for the next year. See, at least when I'm wearing my puppy hood, it's expected that I remain mostly quiet. maybe I should just wear it all the time?
Did you have any idea, a year ago, that this is where you'd be today?
So a year ago, I had just finished University, I was in terrible shape physically, had never met anyone from within the kink and leather community and had a very limited circle of friends. However, a few years prior, I had been exposed to pup play at a camp called Camp Feral in the middle of Algonquin Park. It's at about that time that I met my current Handler. His and my lack of experience worked well together; his flaws mirrored mine, and it was easier to grow into the community together. Learning and sharing what we were experiencing, we eventually came to grow into the individuals you saw at Centretown Pub last weekend during the Ottawa Pup competition. So, even if I was clueless that the puppy community in Ottawa would grow so quickly in the past year, I knew twelve months ago that I would have grown as a pup. I could never have fathomed the extent to which I grew though - that was the biggest surprise.
What do you enjoy most about being a pup?
Being a pup is, beyond the masks and leashes, all about the head space. I think it's the same for a vast number of us too. This space is referred to as pup space sometimes. Basically, a head space is a frame of mind your brain can enter. You remain yourself through the time you spend in that trance, but it's like your mind is operating under a different set of rules. For some it can be a switch that changes their mindset from human to pup in a fraction of a second, while for me, it's a transition that can take a while to achieve. Sometimes, I will willingly stop myself halfway through the transition and only be partially a pup in my mind. It's that ability to focus that I enjoy the most. With enough practice, I've managed to give myself the ability to re-evaluate every conscious thought in my mind through the eyes of what I consider to be the most human of animals; dogs. Worries fade away, work life becomes entirely irrelevant, friendship and physical contacts begin to become overwhelmingly important and a basic hierarchy establishes itself among the pups present. It's a dog's life.
What are you most looking forward to in terms of representing the Ottawa Pup community this year?
Every time the pack hosts an event, it goes along smoother and smoother. The groundwork for our play parties at Centretown Pub has been established as we have gotten comfortable with the idea and procedures. This means that soon, we will be ready to begin expanding and diversifying. The pack's hierarchy is slowly manifesting itself, and it's an honour to be part of such a hard working group. The events that we will be bringing you will be a pack effort, and I look forward to seeing what my brothers and sisters have in store for me and for the community in the next year.
What do you think the pup community has to offer?
This community in Ottawa is still young. I'm experiencing it for the first time along with everyone else I think, so it's difficult to say what we will be able to offer the world in the future. What I would like to see though, is unity amongst ourselves. I want the Pup community to form a cohesive pack. That's what I think we have to offer to Ottawa, and through this pack, we can accomplish a lot more than each individual could on their own. There is value in cooperation, and that's what we need to show Ottawa.
What have been your personal motivations/inspirations in terms of exploring this fetish and also in becoming more visible in the community?
I've always had a small interest in the fetish community, but nothing too serious; it was a drive to simply try something different. I can think back though through my adolescence and, in retrospect, becoming a leather pup in this community was a natural progression for me. I had met a few pups a couple of years back and I remember thinking how hot it was... It wasn't until last year though, at Pride, that I took off. I had met my current Handler and was slowly coaxing him into the idea of having a pup around. I had acquired my first hood and was carrying it around in my backpack, waiting for a personal friend of mine to show up so we could wear our hoods together. He had sadly backed out of going to the Pride Parade, and I didn't feel like being the only person in the crowd with a hood on.
Thankfully, I wasn't. A few moments later, I spotted another pup; he was covered from head to toe in a black skin-tight body suit, wearing his hood, mitts and tail if I remember correctly. That was the first time I ever saw Rolph.
I can almost hear the words I uttered to myself at that point: "Fuck it!" and I took out the hood and wore it.
After that, it was only a matter of time before I began attending the Ottawa Knight's parties at the Cellblock in my hood (the first one being Back to School. I was eating my Handler's homework).
Scout, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview! Looking forward to seeing you out and about alot on the Ottawa Scene this year :)))
*Scritches and hugs*