Sorry this took a while to put paws to keyboard, but when you read on, you will see why I found it hard to write … … … Anyway … … … :
The weekend of the 18th and 19th February saw the Mr Puppy Europe Competition held at Darklands, as part of LeatherPride.be; unlike last year where I was competing at the competition (whilst being filmed!), this time I was helping with some of the organisation. Additionally, I had also volunteered to help at a couple of other things along the way for the organisers of leatherpride, Camp K9 and the X-Awards!!!.
We set off from home, to fly out from Luton Airport to Amsterdam, (where we were planning a break at the end of the event) and then jumped on the train to Antwerp. This set the tone of the weekend where I travelled from the Airport Car Park with my blue neoprene dog collar on. The flight there was generally uneventful, and we arrived at our hotel in good time.
At this point, I got changed in to my puppy outfit, repacked the bag slightly and we headed off down to Darklands for the remaining aspects of the Friday, and the opening VIP drinks reception. This gave us the opportunity to see the layout of the venue, catch up with those we know and meet up with various friends. The drinks reception was quite nice, and after it finished, we headed off for food to the Italian we found last year, still in the Zentai (although with clothes over the top) and then retired back to bed for the night.
The Saturday saw Day 1 of Mr Puppy Europe, and also the first of my various other activities I was helping with. As part of the opening introduction on the Main Stage, the Mr Puppy EU Host RipperMoff was doing a sketch where I was involved and had to act with him as a puppy on stage – it was the spoof “Barbera Woodhouse” ‘Sit!’ sketch.
This was great fun *wags* and then it was on to helping the 5 contestants – Pup Bentley: Mr Puppy NL, Pup Farex: Mr Puppy CH, Pup Makke, Pup Barka & Pup Piglet: Mr Puppy UK (or Pup Piglets Blog) and making sure they were OK having been through it myself last year.
On my return to Camp K9 it was time to relax for a bit with a chance to pay in the wonderful Ball Pit.
Then it was on to helping out with the Mr Puppy EU competition again … this time I was helping with the obstacle course as a “safety pup” and also as a bit of a distraction. I was like being a House Robot from the Robot Wars TV series – but in this sense the “House Puppy”… sitting in wait and then pouncing at the end.
My final bit of activity on the Saturday was to be involved in charity wrestling matches of “Pup v Superhero” wrestling matches – with two pups and two superheroes. I’m pleased to report that not only did I win all 5 of my rounds, but the other pup also won all 5 of his – so if you’re ever in trouble you need to call a pup not a superhero! *wags* This event also saw the debut of a new outfit for Spot – a twitter contact has turned one of my spare Dalmatian print zentai in to 2 Dalmatian print thongs – meaning that I can now be a puppy in even less clothes 😉 !
The evening saw us going to the same restaurant as the night before, although this time I’d changed back into normal clothes, having been in the thong rather than the Zentai before hand. However, on the wander back from the restaurant we must have taken a wrong turning somewhere and we ended up wandering around the Red Light District of Antwerp which was an interesting experience!
Sunday saw the main part of Mr Puppy EU, with the Interviews and Stage Presentations. Again, RipperMoff had asked me to help with this part and so I came to be rehearsing on stage while also helping with making sure that some of the contestants got to their interviews.
As the final rehearsals were completed, and it approached time to go on stage, the scene was set. The Master of Ceromnies / main presenter for the Darklands stage event led me on to the stage, and I went and sat like a good puppy in the corner.
He introduced Ripper, and he then left the stage … off we went in to a Cruella De Ville sketch.
RipperMoff did a short ‘phone call’ – wanting the “puppies to be kidnapped tonight”
and then Ripper left the stage for a quick change into a spotty dress. This pup then gets cat-napped by KittyRony to the theme tune of Mission Impossible
(I did well … I got to the safety railings at the front of the stage before my lead was clipped onto my back) and I was dragged off stage to be turned in to a fur coat 🙁 … BTW: From what the pups backstage said “it was quite funny to watch Ripper do a quick change to the theme tune of mission impossible” …
Anyway, RipperMoff re-enters on stage to do a song from 101 Dalmatians in the spotty dress …
meanwhile I remove everything except my hood, collar, paws and knee pads.
At the end of the scene, I was lead back on by ‘Cruella’ to prove that no pups were harmed in the making of the dress … and at this point I re-enter stage with nothing on except my puppy hood, collar, paw and knee pads – I had nothing else on! Much to everyone’s enjoyment – wolf whistles and a round of applause 🙂 *wags*
This was fine, but due to the quick changeovers between this and the next section for RipperMoff, I was left backstage in just the hood and paws (completely nude otherwise) for a few minutes before I could be allowed to change!
I was then there to offer comforting words to the pups that had to go on stage for their acts – a nervous experience as I know only too well!
The afternoon of the Sunday event also saw me presiding over a film screening of the C4 Documentary as the first Mr Puppy UK Title Holder, and the main feature of the documentary, with a Q&A session afterwards. I was also involved at this point with being a pup on-stage for helping present one of the X-Awards. After this I was then backstage to support pups before they went on stage for the results. This was probably the hardest part of the weekend for me mentally, due to my experience last year; that and by the time everyone was either onstage or out front taking photos for the official twitter feed I was all alone 🙁 I was quiet, but OK until the point at which the results were going to be announced, at his moment I had to wander off to give my head a chance to clear (pup hoods do well at hiding tears! 🙁 ) – last year for me was hard in a number of ways: I still have a deep sadness I didn’t succeed for the UK, I feel I let the team down for not being the 2016 title holder for Europe, I had a very awkward experience at the competition last year – and so in all, I just had to wander off to clear my mind from these sad thoughts…. [as a serious point to those that took part this year, I wasn’t in the right place in my mind to listen to the results – sorry]. It was while I was away I met someone that I have known domestically for a number of years! Talk about shock… but it also helped me come back to the happy side of pup life and such like – so in many ways it was bizarre, but a blessing to meet this friend 🙂 … I headed back to Camp K9 in happy spirits to give all the contestants a congratulations and hugs etc … They all did well – I’ve been there and it’s not an easy place to be – you are constantly on the go, with no time to relax, you’re there impressing the judges, being interviewed and just being the best you can be … so in my eyes, everyone deserves a medal for taking part, it takes courage!! FYI, Piglet (UK) came third, Bentley (NL) came 2nd and Farax (BE) was crowned the title holder for 2017.
As the end of the event wound down, the group of us from the Europe Competition went out on mass to the same Pizza Restaurant
– we had mentioned the night before to the waiters that we would be back – but I don’t think they were expecting the party of 2 to turn in to a party of 18 overnight! A fantastic meal was had by all – with me still in my pup gear, many others still displaying tails clipped on belts etc. and the majority, if not all, of the customers being from Darklands! “Cheers!!!” to all those that organised or took part in this years competition, and if any one (pups included) want support from me, then just *bark* at me and I will do what I can to help *wags*
After the meal we all went our separate ways, and said our congratulations and goodbyes … gave hugs to all, and then we wandered back to the hotel for a good nights sleep before setting off on the second part of our adventure.
The Monday saw us returning to Antwerp train station to depart for Amsterdam – but I wanted to travel as a pup, so bags packed, me in pup-gear, we set off (though I did keep the hood and paws in the bag, and only got them out for an odd photo or 2 on the journey). We ran in to RipperMoff at the train station before departing but other than that we enjoyed a nice train journey to Amsterdam, with me constantly as puppy. This did gather a few interesting looks from people on the way but I had fantastic fun doing it!
Amsterdam & our short holiday there is a separate blog post to follow 😀
Oh, and if you want to, you can read Pup Piglets interview with me before the Europe Competition on his blog
Also here is a link to Piglets account of the Mr Puppy Europe Competition