When a handler and a pup split ways mutually, is it common practice for the pup to give back items (toys, collars, leashes, etc) that the handler gifted them?
RM: I would probably sit down with the Handler/Pup and talk about the items
CJ: “Common” is a dangerous word. It’s gotta be a genuine decision on a case by case basis
JD: It’s more common for Bpys to give their Sir their collar back than it is for Pups to give it back to their Handler, I believe. The Sub losing his/her collar when a relationship ends is a tradition in leather culture because it signified ownership. Many Pups though, are neither Dom nor Sub and Pups get their collars in many different ways, so I don’t think there’s a universal. I can tell you from experience losing my name and my collar in a break up devastated me. To the point that when I collared my own Pup, I made a point of telling him the collar and name were gifts, meaning that if we ever break up, they are his property, not mine. He’s still very Sub though. For instance, he’ll present me with his collar and patiently and wait until I put it on him and will never put it on himself. In fact he’s the one who just recently started talking about wanting a permanent locking collar.
RH: That depends on the arrangements made between the two of them
JB: Gifts are gifts, not loans… Obviously there’s more complexity to it than that, but I like to promote the giving of gifts as a selfless act. If you think you’ll want something back, be clear that it’s not a permanent arrangement from the beginning
PA: … I don’t think so… Depends I think, some collars maybe, locks but toys and gear I don’t think so
DP: I don’t think there is a norm, and as in most cases if there were I would highly recommend eschewing it, and instead doing what’s right for you.
JB: It sounds like you’re on good terms and communicating well, which is amazing! Use those lines of communication and work something out that works for the two of you 🙂 Certainly take inspiration where it fits, but don’t let yourself feel boxed in by what others do. In my case, gifts are gifts, but the most important to me are my tags. I have a day collar with tags from my current and past partner.
AR: Usually gear that’s given has been ‘earned’ and therefore kept and cherished. It has great meaning! Collars are returned if he offered his His collar to You to wear. Collars aren’t a gift that’s earned like gear.
Let me put this in another perspective since ppl have such a hard time doing this. Do you want your hot new pup to be running around with an assortment of collars to wear given to him from his previous Doms? Likely not…
Or how about this – how many ppl bury their dog with their collar? Not many. Most ppl take their dog’s collar off and they keep it as a memento for their memory. Give his collar back and earn another one from someone else. Let you Sir keep at least the collar as a memento of your memory.
You can earn another one from someone else and keep the gear you earned. All he gets back to remember you is his collar he proudly let you wear. This is just my opinion but it makes a lot of sense to me and is highly respectful to the Sirs after a parting and the new Sirs.
SR: I’ve done it both ways. When the former alpha just up and left us (poly relationship), I requested all gear I purchased back. In that instance they weren’t gifts. But for him to use while he was my pup (I donated all the gear to another pup). With my current pup, they are gifts, and I told him that. They are his to keep, along with his name. (Plus I don’t see this relationship ending anytime soon, like as in never).
VA: Usually gifts are not given back. They’re gifts. The collar usually is because, in leather tradition, the collar belongs to the Sir not the boy. That is the precedent many in the pup community follow since that is where pup evolved from but it is not a rule.
AB: I think it depend on the items Gifts that hold mea nm in for both of you should be kept because it’s a reminder of time well spent If it’s a large item that may not be able to go or something he may like to remember you by you may want to gift those back to him.
TH: Depends on the items and the people involved. Returning a collar is generally considered traditional. Items of gear or toys, that may vary.
HO: My opinion is: The collar is a symbol of ownership and should be returned. Tails, clothing etc should not be returned, as they are part of the pup. Hoods are iffy. Toys should be returned if the handler wants them.
JD: Pups, please remember, even if we’re Subs, Pups don’t need to follow the rules of leather culture. While the origins of gay Pup culture are there, we’re not necessarily them and they’re not us! The beauty of being a Pup is we don’t have to follow cultural rules. Romp your own path!
Original discussion can be found on the Puppy 101 Facebook group