I distinctly remember back in May when I was purchasing a shirt that had two check boxes on it - one before the words “pup/puppers” and the other before “dog/doggo”. After a brief moment, I chose “dog/Doggo” even though I’d identified as a “pup” for the previous couple months. At first, the decision was mostly a matter of language because I liked the way Doggo sounded (and it reminded me of the hilarious memes of the same name), but it also struck something much deeper in me. The word “Doggo” helped me understand my true human pet identity.
I now go by Doggo Cain and correct friends when they introduce me as a pup. For me, being a doggo is all about personality. I have always been a laid-back person who has an older soul. I don’t like being the center of attention and prefer to stand back and observe sometimes. The common characteristics of human pups - such as losing your human self, being hyper and running around, and lovingly accepting scritches, nuzzles, and treats from whomever is around - don’t really work with who I am.
However, I still love letting go and acting like a dog. I like how barking, nuzzling, and getting scritches breaks down social norms and connects me to other people. I have a dog headspace, but instead of becoming a yappy hyper pooch, I become an older dog who is sure of himself and seeks out what he wants. I request scritches and loving from my pup and handler friends whom I trust, I have chill borking conversations with other pups, and I jump into a mosh when the spirit moves me.
I guess you could say that I am more of a pup mentor who has similar responsibilities as a handler or trainer. I regularly check in with my pup friends at events and make sure that everyone is being safe and has everything they need. I give advice when asked and share my experiences. But I don’t perform those duties as a dominant human or playful alpha pup, I perform them as a doggo who’s on the same level as other pups, but with a more mature and laid-back mindset.