Hi everyone! I know I haven't written in a while, but I've recently started a new puppy play blog, and have been writing all sorts of fun things about puppies! While I won't post EVERY post I've put on the blog, if something catches my eye as interesting, I'm gonna post it here too. ^.^ I thought this one, about my personal puppy headspace, was worth sharing! I'd love to hear how YOUR headspaces work too! Comment below and let me know!! I'd love to do a post sometime about the DIFFERENT types of headspace!
I thought it would be a good idea to explain puppy play a bit more, and specifically, what my pup headspace means to me. I already shared a quote in my Introduction post, which I will re-share here for convenience:
"Pup play is when one person takes on the role of a pup or handler. The pup acts like their canine counterpart and the trainer, for the most part, handles the pup like he would a biological puppy. For many it serves as a release of the primal animal part of them." -Pupplay.info front page
It is exactly what it sounds like. While playing as Willow, my puppy, I- a human woman- am on all fours, moving around on the floor, barking, whining, whimpering, curling up on pillows, and fetching balls and toys as they are thrown. Willow particularly loves squeaky toys, and, though we don't get to do it often, as a Golden Retriever, Willow LOVES water.
The particular headspace ('a state of mind' Source: Oxford Dictionary) is not something that happens all the time. Here is where it gets a little bit 'trippy', and VERY unique. My puppy headspace, IN MY HEAD, is an actual, bouncing, Golden, fluffy and exuberant biological dog. That dog represents that state of mind that brings on my behaviour and playing as a pup.
Sometimes, she is very active, bouncing around, and trying desperately to escape. Those are the days where I really, REALLY want to 'pup out', and sometimes I need to put her in a mental cage so that she can't escape because you know... real life is a thing. Other days she is hidden away, and I can barely find her. She emulates my mood- if I am having a crappy day. she's either hiding in her kennel or lying down morosely, her head on her paws, letting out long sighs and looking sorry for herself. If I'm happy, she gets really bouncy and runs around in circles, chasing her tail sometimes. If I'm angry, conversely, she's most definitely not anywhere to be found- Willow hates conflict and will hide instead of dealing with it.
When I DO let this bouncing, puppy Willow out to take control of my brain, I turn on my puppy self on the exterior, and my behaviours come to the surface. I become a 'pup'. That headspace is in control. At home, this means FULL control. I try as hard as I can not to snap back to reality and to my 'human' existence, and the freedom and carefree spirit that brings is unmatchable. Have you ever seen a dog stress about whether the bills will be paid? Have you ever seen a dog depressed because they had a stressful day at work? Letting go of all that, even for a short time, is priceless.
While I am out in public, however, at a mosh (a gathering of many human pups to play and socialise in a communal setting), I let my puppy headspace have just a little control, so that I am able to come back suddenly if needed, if someone addresses me as a human, or needs to talk about something specifically important. It IS controllable, it just depends how much I let that bouncing puppy out. More means more puppy, less means less puppy.
It probably sounds crazy, but it is my reality, and I accept that things happen in certain ways for certain people. My thoughts just, well... look like a dog. Go figure. Hopefully, it gives you an idea of HOW my puppy headspace works, so that if I refer to my 'head Willow', you'll know what I mean!