Lockdown has been difficult, but that is not what this is about.
This is about a about the face mask I bought from the pup pride shop, and how it has effected me.
I knew I wanted one as soon as the pre-orders went up. I didn't have a reusable facemask yet, jut disposables. Although I'd been a pup for a while I had never purchased anything that could be used to identify me as a pup beyond my hood.
For me, being a pup had become something I could only induldge either on a telegram chat, or on my own, curled up on my bed with a selection of plushies. I didn't, and still don't have the confidence as a pup to start conversations with others on telegram through the large chat. But yet, here I was, looking at a V2 pup pride facemask, knowing without any doubt I wanted it.
Gradually I built up the confidence to tell my partner about it and make sure that if I had it on, that he would still be seen with me, and I created a handfull of reasons why there was no way it could be a problem;
1) It just looks like a dog face, most people won't know about pup play to even think twice about it.
2) The main people who will recognise it will likely be into pup play, if there are any who exist in the area, maybe I can meet new people.
3) If anyone does have a problem I can pretend to be ignorant, and just say it is 'just' a novelty dog mask.
He didn't need any of these reason. He confirmed that I shouldn't expect to be treated as a pup by him when I was in the mask and that was it. I ordered the orange variant of the pup hood mask. And then waited.
It a bit of a wait. I had not fully understood how long the preorders were open, and then then they needed to be produced. I did buy myself another monocrome facemask so that I could stop using disposable while I waited but was very happy when the mask came. It was exactly what I expected, and it has had more of an impace than I expected.
Due to covid I have been hiding away, only going out for food, and the rare walk. But ever since, with only a handful of exceptions I have worn the pup mask, and I love it. It is comfy and sits just right around my face. But more importantly, I feel like a pup. I can be walking around and just let my mind slip into the pup headspace, or when I am sitting at my desk now wearing it as I work, I feel comfortable, smiling everytime I think to myself, I am in my pup facemask, I am a pup. I am Z.
I have started adjusting my route home from work to go through a large field, instead of around it, because even though it is pitch black, I can put my mask on, and run around a little, I can be a pup outside, which is something I had never dreamed possible.
Having something I can associate with being a pup that I can wear on a day to day has completely freed me and really allowed to embrace being a pup as part of who I am, not just something I am 'in to'.
There have not been any weird looks when I wear it in stores, most people probably don't even think twice about just another mask. Nobody has approached me becaue they reconginise the pup and that means we have something in common. But most importantly I guess, there have been no problems, with people finding it weird to wear something assosiated to what is mainly considered a kink in public.
So the excuses I made to myself were a little redundant. But every now and again, I am occasionally greeted with a small smile, as someone catches sight of me, with my nose right for booping and tounge ready to give licks. And in bringing that slightest hint of happiness fills me with joy. Second only to being called a good boy whille getting chin scritches, or belly rubs. But those are hard to beat.