Nov 232015
 

On the weekend of the 21st November, the first ever Mr Puppy UK event was held at the Pup Social in Birmingham. I was a late entrant to the competition though, as my ability to attend was looking doubtful until almost the last moment.

After an uneventful journey there, I arrived at the venue, and started to get nervous about entering, so made the decision to have a drink and calm down and think about it… so I changed in to my outfit, had a drink and thought about it while saying hello to the pups around that I know and generally chatting.

I eventually made the decision that I should enter as I’d only have been annoyed at myself if I hadn’t, so duly did the necessary paperwork and now I had become a contestant in the competition. *gulp*

I had to think of a party piece / stage type of performance to use later in the event, if I was to get that far through the competition… so while chatting, and relaxing, and talking to my owner I made a nervous decision on what to do.

We got called through and, just before the rest of all the pups and handles came through, the pups that had entered decided as a bit of fun to build a pup-pyramid:

Puppy Pyramid

The competition got underway; information about the event and introduction of the judges complete, then 7 participants were introduced to the rest of the pups and handlers that had come along to watch. I was introduced as pup number 6 ‘ZentaiSpot’… the number was so people could vote for me for the “Puppy Congeniality” competition (a side competition to the main event).

After being introduced, I realised I still had my badge on from Sexpo which was the weekend before, where I had been there with E-Stim Systems as their Puppy, and had 3 days of demo-ing their equipment. I thought about taking it off, but then I decided “no, that’s me, I am the E-Stim Systems puppy” so I left it on my harness.

The first challenge was to be an agility course. The rules and the course were explained – ‘be yourself as a pup and do the course, it’s not Crufts’, ‘first you have to weave through the cone slalom, then get the tennis ball home in the basket, then through the hoop followed by the `Canyon of Temptation` (or the home straight had loads of puppy treats on either side to guide you home)’… and then we were all sent out the room – we weren’t allowed to see what the other pups did!

5 Pups later it came to my turn!!! Whilst I was being introduced I had found that I was leaning on one of the hosts having head scritches starting to doze off like pups do … Then it was “3… 2… 1… GO!”. I was a bit naughty and pinched a Flapjack from the end of the course and a chew toy before setting off to weave in and out of the slalom (still munching the flapjack WITH a chew toy in my mouth!), and it took me slightly longer to get the ball in the hole as I managed to catch it with my side claw 🙁 and so the ball completely missed the basket. A kind on-looker rolled the ball back to me and I tried again with success. Then through the hoop, which I just bounded through without thinking (since if pups realise what they have to do, then they seem to bail out and go round the obstacle) … then onto the ‘canyon of temptation’ … so a few more biscuits later I cross the finish line.

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There was now a chance to relax before the next round – interviews, in private, with the judges!!!!! I haven’t done an interview in more than 10 years, so was a bit nervous by this point. Contestant 5 couldn’t be found, so my interview got moved forward early, so I had even less time to think before the interview! By the time I came out I was convinced I’d done really badly at this, as the questions weren’t easy!

Again, there was more time to relax and have a chance to pup out with everyone, before we were whittled down from 7 to 5.
7 puppies
This was quite scary in it’s way, as it was done in a fashion very much like TV shows – you’re called forward, then with a long delay before being told if you’re safe or not. This was a bit of a blur, as I couldn’t say if I was called forward as the 4th pup top be decided on, but I think I was! So I was called forward, I stepped forward, I was then told to step forward again, then back then forward a small bit … and then I was told to extend my right leg. After a bit of a pause, I did (as I sometimes struggle with Right and Left due to my theatre work as it’s all backwards in the theatre industry) and after another long pause I was told I was safe… I was through to the last round. By the end of this elimination round, only 5 of us were left, and my commiserations have to go to Pup Rocket and Wolfie who were eliminated at this point.
5 remaining puppies

Again, there was another break and then we were on to the final round – the talent show. One of the hosts came back into the room to the backing track of ‘Cruella-de-ville’ … me being a Dalmatian started to bark like crazy as Dalmatians don’t like this character! Though I let my guard down and wandered out to have ear scritches.
Curella ear scritches
… After a quick intro about this part of the competition it was our turn. First up was Pup Cody, who did some tricks with lettered cards and a game of fetch (helped by his handler, Del). This was followed by Minty, who was acting like a playful puppy with a toy. Oakleigh followed next… and took a bag of magic stars, popped them, and then proceeded to eat them.

The first thought through my mind was … *WHINE* – as this was what I planned to do, but with Galaxy Counters!

Pup Shadow went next, and proceeded to perform some comedy which gave me a bit of time to think about what to do next… but then, suddenly, it was my turn.

I took the Counters on stage, was asked if I was ready, and I barked. “3… 2… 1… GO!”. I looked at my treat bag, carefully picked them up and walked over to the judges proudly and put the bag on their table. What happened from here on in was now completely unknown and out of my paws!!! They opened the bag, took one out and just as I thought the judge was going to balance the Counter on my nose, he threw that Counter on the stage area, followed by about half the bag of Counters. I don’t know what happened in that brief moment – my chance to go and eat them up… while the judges ate a few Counters too!

Then my minute was over… and the results were almost imminent, a very quick break whilst the judges added up the scores and then we were gathered together. First up was the announcement of “Puppy Congeniality”, it was announced as Minty! He got a tiara and a sash and a BIG jar of either buttons or jelly sweets … he chose the jelly sweets (never found out what happened to the jar of buttons after).
Minty Pup - Pup Congeniality

Then, came the moment of truth…
Remaining 5 pups
first the nervous 5 of us were whittled down to a final three. Unfortunately really huge commiserations and big hugs had to go to Cody and Shadow, the 2 that were now eliminated – thus leaving Oakleigh, Me and Minty in the final three *gulp*
Puppy hugs
3 remaining pups

The results were announced in reverse order and so 3rd place… and this went to Oakleigh who got some great prizes and a brone coloured bone medal.
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Minty and I sat next to each as pup and we were hugging each other so tight that we could feel each other shaking with nerves. Then it was time to announce 2nd place … … … …

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the wait was unbearable … … … … …

… … …

and the tension built … … …

after what seemed forever, it was announced as Minty in 2nd place! He got his wonderful prizes and a silve bone shaped medal.
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This only meant one thing! I’d won Mr Puppy UK 2015 (and the first one ever!)
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I honestly can not remember much about what happened after that, I was in shock with a tear in my eye; and still am to a degree, it’s still not quite fully sunk in!

I was awarded my prizes – a gold bone shaped medal (which I later found out was custom made for the event and is unique so is irreplaceable), £100 travel voucher for Mr Puppy Europe, £50 The Kinksters voucher, a years entry to ‘Kink’, a Mr-B puppy hood, a waistcoat with Mr Puppy UK 2015 patch on the back, and I look forward to representing the UK pups in Mr Puppy Europe next year.

And here’s the 3 pups with prizes:
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The rest of the night was great, but being on a shell-shocked nervous buzz of the win, I can’t remember all that much – it was all a blur!
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I do remember that on leaving at the end of the night, it did take me nearly an hour to get out from the social as everyone wanted a hug before I went.

Just to end this post with 2 more bits to say …
1) It’d be unfair to ‘steal’ all the praise and glory of the event, so I’ve added a gallery of all the other contestants involved in the Mr Puppy UK competition, so you can see what they got up to … it’s only fair to share as they have deserved this moment of fame as they had the courage to enter and compete:

2nd and Lastly, I’d like to say thanks to: @thekinksters (http://www.thekinksters.com/) for sponsoring the event, @mrpuppyuk (http://www.mrpuppy.org.uk) for the event, @pupsocial for the hosting the event. I’d also like to thanks to my fellow contestants @mintypup, @pupoakleigh, @puprocket and the other competitors whose twitter handles I don’t know.

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