Skuff Pup: 2016 Puppy & Handler of the Year NomineeMay 30, 2016
Skuff Pup is a native of Arkansas, but has called Seattle home for the past 6 years. An 11 year veteran of the United States Marine Corps, he has lived and traveled all over the world and has dedicated his life to service. Skuff has been an active member of the pup/leather and ab/dl communities, as well as various other fetish communities, for many years and is serving his second year on the board for SEA-PAH, acting as the current Public Relations Officer (Puppy Relations).
When did you first discover pup play or realize you were interested?
Arf! That was a while ago! I think i first learned about it around 2004. I was just starting my own journey into the kink world. It definitely was something that caught my attention, though I didn’t know my place just yet. Though, it wasn’t until around 2007 that I started to dive deeper into it.
How would you describe pup play headspace based on your experiences?
That’s a good question. For me, it is safe space within myself. It’s letting go of all the stress and frustrations of my day to day make up. In my experience, it’s a wonderful departure of what others see as reality that is shared between my fellow pups and handlers.
What does being a pup mean to you?
It means love, respect, loyalty and service. Being a pup means the world to me. Sharing those things with my pack mates what makes up my whole being. *wags*
What are some ways you know of that someone can connect with their inner pup energy on their own?
I love this question! For some, it’s using various meditation techniques to focus on the headspace, for others, it’s putting on their hood, but for me, it’s as simple as just relaxing and letting go. Pup headspace isn’t something that’s forced, the more time you spend in it, the easier it becomes getting into it. Something as simple as a “good boy” and a scratch on the head will push me into headspace.
It also helps to be around others that you are comfortable with that can help you to relax to get into headspace. Find a puppy community in your local area that you feel safe and comfortable with is a great way to start!
Does gear help your immersion into headspace? If so or if not, please elaborate?
Gear can help, but it isn’t necessary for me. I am always pup, just in various degrees headspace. So the right words spoken to me or situations, I’m all pup quickly.
Though, as with any pup I’m sure, I sometimes need an extra kick. My hood is a great way to help get into that space when need be. Even in instances that I think my headspace isn’t there, putting on my hood can help me get out of a funk and into headspace.
Describe an instance where your pup personality came out at an unexpected moment?
My pup personality comes out all the time when I’m not expecting it! I’m very open within my life about being a pup, so naturally have some coworkers and most friends that know.
I was at another work location two weeks ago helping them out, when I ran into a friend and coworker that I hadn’t seen in quite awhile who happens to know of my pup and kink side. He and I were standing in the hall way catching up on things that were going on in each others life. He gave me a big hug and scratched my head and called me a good puppy! As we let go of the hug I began to wag pretty hard and barked pretty loud, not realizing that a bunch of other coworkers where just rounding the corner. They all looked at me funny and I just gave them a bark and went about my way. LOL
Do you identify with a particular breed of bio dog? If so, describe how you relate to that breed?
I do actually! I’m an Australian Shepard. I see myself as a loyal service pup. I’m at my happiest when I’m serving those I love and bringing my energy and excitement to the community. Aussies are, in my opinion, one of the most loyal and loving breeds within the bio dog community. It’s a goal that I strive to meet everyday.
I have my own bio dog, Toby. He’s an Aussie himself and is my best friend. He’s the most loving, compassionate and friendly dogs I’ve ever had as apart of my family. I see that and aspire to be like him.
What are your pup community goals?
I want to help new pups and handlers to feel welcome and learn how they fit into the puppy community. When I first joined an actual pack, SEA-PAH, I had friends, that have now become family, that created me with love and respect. I wasn’t just another face in the crowd, I was apart of their community and family. I felt loved and accepted. I want the same for every pup, handler, or anyone else that wants to be apart of our pack.
Also, as someone that suffers from PTSD as well as a traumatic and progressive brain injury, I also am working to help create a better outreach for those that suffer from PTSD and abuse and let them know that they are not alone and that as a pack, we are stronger and always there to help them, even when it feels as if no-one can.
What do you see as some of the strengths of the pup community? Weaknesses or obstacles?
Strengths: Love and loyalty. We, as a community, are ferociously loyal to our pack mates. We all want to be loved, and giving that love back is as amazing as the pups that make all of this. I wouldn’t ever want to be apart of any thing else!
Weakness: It would have to be the thought that there is a specific way we are supposed to be puppies. There is no exact way that we have to be. Be you! don’t think you have to fit a mold to be apart of our pack.
Within the pup world, how do you view the significance or meaning of a collar?
Ohhh! Collars are special! Being a collard pup means you’ve been blessed to have been, for lack of a better word, adopted by that special someone who has taken on the task for loving and caring for you.
For those that believe in a more high protocol leather lifestyle, there are so many facets that it can represent, from earning your first collar to a collar for each level of training. For others, like myself, a collar represents just what it would for a bio dog, it is that symbol of having that owner who loves you and takes care of you. You belong to them, with all of your quirks and fun. They provide love, safety, protection and belly scritches! They help teach and guide you to be a better puppy, and give corrections when needed.
I do believe that a non owned pup can wear a collar. I’ve worn one with my SEA-PAH id tag and my NorthWest Puppy Pack id. I’ve never had a lock on it because I’m not owned, but to me, it shows that I am apart of a pack and family. it’s my remind that I am much more than just me.
What are your thoughts on pup names?
Pup names a great! I feel there are various ways to get a name. I don’t believe you have to be owned or have an owner or handler to give you a name. Your pup name can be given to you based on just who you are.
Skuff is a name that I was given many years ago by a good friend. I was known to get into a “scuff or two” over my years in the Marine Corps as well as various deployments. The name Skuff stuck and that’s who I’ve been for many many years.
We hear many pups in the community calling for increased education. What are some of the topics you would like to see more education on?
PTSD and mental illness are one of the biggest things I want help educate on. We have so many members that live with mental illness that manifest itself in depression, anxiety and the lick. It’s my goal to help educate on how to identify these symptoms and how to find the help needed.
I also love teaching about headspace. It’s so fulfilling seeing pups learn what it means and get into headspace for the first time! It’s what I live for!
How does your pup persona balance with your “everyday” life?
It balances very well actually! My pup persona is such a part of me that it really is who I am day in and day out. I’m very proud of who I am as a pup so it makes it very easy to blend it in with my everyday life.
In terms of gender identification, sexual orientation, age, or any other “descriptor,” the pup and handler community is often touted as being very inclusive. What are your views of ideas regarding this?
I love the fact that we are so inclusive! It’s so wonderful to be apart of a community where you everyone is welcome! We all are here because of being a puppy and being apart of something that is greater than us and that’s just how it should be. Dogs don’t discriminate so why should we?
Where do you see the pup and handler community in relation to the broader leather/kink/fetish community?
I see us as a vital part of the broader community. I’ve watched the leather/kink/fetish community first look at us as “just the current trend” to embracing and excepting us as what we really are, a vital and wonderful part of all the greater community. We give ourselves whole heartedly to making a safe and wonderful space for everyone. The puppy community has made great strides at showing the other communities that we are here to stay!