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I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive. ~Gilda Radner


--- I wanted to share my experience because this was my first trip ever to IML [2014] and I was honestly very nervous and shy. I still remember being right at the door, waiting to go in with my friend/Handler and shaking like a leaf. I had no idea what to expect and I was honestly terrified. I had made friends who had said they would be there and I was looking forward to that, but I was also afraid the other pups would just run off and be in their owns packs and I'd kind of just be sitting there. I'm happy to say that that was not the case. I had the time of my life and I was happy to just pup out and let my personal troubles just melt away. I made new friends, ran around, and I'll never forget how much fun it was to dogpile on the dogcatcher and Carlos DeVil ha ha. Thank you for making such a wonderful event where a pup can just be happy and care-free, even if it's only for 3 hours.

---- Woof Camp means the world to me, because in this world there are many scary things, but when I see the friends I love able to express their inner most desire to show those around all the love and affection that a puppy can give, without fear, without worry, without hesitation, I know deep in my heart that there are still those in this world who care and love their community so much that they would create something so special because they love us back.

---- My shift at Woof Camp 2014, and the opportunity to play with the puppies after my shift, turned out to be one of the absolute highlights of my IML weekend. Thanks for letting me be a part of it! I have a wonderful little story I want to share with you about the evening: One of the other Woof Camp volunteers was mobility-challenged and in a wheelchair, and before the event, he seemed kind of sad and said to me, “I don't have a pup, but if you see any strays looking for a Handler, please let them know that I can do that, if they'd have me.” That last phrase made me sad, but I kept it in mind. 10, maybe 20 minutes later, a pup came through and said, “This is my first time doing this, and while I'm very excited about it, I don't really know how it works.” You can see where this is going. So, I matched up this inexperienced pup with the mobility-challenged Handler, and they were hanging out together for most of the event. I kept looking over in their direction to see how things were going, and they seemed to be having a -fantastic- time! As he left, the pup made a point of coming over to me and thanking me profusely for connecting him with such a kind and knowledgeable Handler. He said he learned a LOT, and that having an experienced man guide him was really helpful and made his evening. All I could think after that was, “Jeez, why are my eyes leaking? This is such unmanly behavior!” But it felt really, really, REALLY good to know that I had matched up a pup and a Handler who needed to find each other to have the Woof Camp experience they were meant to have. It was awesome! So thank you for the opportunity to help those lovely folks meet. It was definitely one of the highlights of IML for me.

---- Woof Camp back in 2009 helped me realize how much I enjoy playing with pups. I realize the focus is on pups and not Handlers at Woof camp so I really feel honored to be able to participate and volunteer the past two years. I wish I would have helped out earlier.

---- Thank you Woof Camp for introducing us to the joys of puppy play and for all the hard work in support of the pup community. We love Woof Camp and hope to spend more time at it for years to come.

----- This is my 5th Woof Camp. Thank you so much for all the fun it has added to my life. I look forward to it every year. Thank you! Thank you! I wear my Woof Camp pins with pride!

----- Woof Camp is responsible for so many puppies finding their tribes!

----- So much love from my pack for creating the greatest mosh on Earth!

---- Thanks for the amazing experience at Woof Camp, it's the only time my boyfriend and I get the chance to do this together.

---- Thanks to Woof Camp for offering a space to just relax and pup out! I can't tell you how much it means to me and the pup community!

--- This is my first Woof Camp and it already feels like coming home....

---- This wagtastic event created my love for a puppy mosh. That led to one of the main reasons I started SEA-PAH, to help build the NW puppy community. Thank you for such a positive impact on the puppy and kink community.

---- Thanks for putting on Woof Camp and for creating a space for pups from around the globe to come together. Our pups and Handlers appreciate all of your dedication. One Love, One Pack.

------ Thanks for everything and for setting up this amazing event that totally changed my life. I hope there will be many more.

------ Thanks a thousand times for Woof Camp (arf). It is the single most important reason I came to IML this year [2014]. Puppy space and being free to be in that headspace keeps me sane. (ruff) so great to have the world's best puppy event @ IML.


The names {XXX} and some of the retelling has been edited to protect the innocent (well as innocent as they can be):

International Mr. Leather, 2014 – Woof Camp!!!!

I’ve wanted to go to Woof Camp at IML for many years. It’s the largest mosh of pups in the US. Last year it was 100+ pups and 60+ handlers. It’s held at International Mr. Leather in Chicago each year. I’ve never been really interested in IML, per say, (the leather title contest thing just doesn’t do much of anything for me) but Woof Camp has been a dream. Last weekend that dream got realized when I joined {XXX} at our first IML. Spoiler: We had loads of fun!

Okay, so Sunday afternoon I returned to the IML hotel after a day at the Art Institute and Millennium Park. I was in a really wonderful mood from the amazing art, the sunshine, music in the park..... I had a spring in my step and a wag in my tail... and I was totally stoked about Woof Camp! I can take or leave the title contest. The market was impressive, but I’m broke. No, other than spending time w/ my Alpha, the primary reason I was there was for the nation’s largest mosh – as {XXX} called it: “Puppy Mecca.”

.....We tried to hang out in the lobby some, but it was noisy and crowded, so we decided to go on up to the Woof Camp ballroom and see if we could help w/ set-up. There were actually quite a few pups and handlers there, so there wasn’t a lot for us to do, just lend a paw here or there.

Before the big mosh, they were offering puppy yoga for those who wanted to limber up – w/ a certified yoga puppy. I enjoyed doing that. Then it was time for Woof Camp. I think there were just two pups there who I already knew: {XXX} and {XXX}. I did get introduced to a few others whom I have heard/read on the internet (Leatherati or NoSafeWord)... All the stars were out. :)

When I first entered the mosh there were about 15 or 20 pups, mostly in a big circle passing a ball around. It seemed a very odd game to me. Why would I want to pass the toy? All the toys are mine. So when the ball came to me, I pounced on it and covered it. Instantly, the pups imploded around me, pounced me, and took the ball away. It was great! *wags*

Fantastic as the big mosh was, I find myself struggling to describe it. It’s impossible for me to give a detailed account of the mosh – memories are all fragmented impressions. My puppy headspace wasn’t really the deep, non-verbal place I often go (that can sometimes be hard to get into in a public mosh) – however, I think I was still maybe deeper than many of the other pups... but even w/o a deep pup-space mind, there was a wild, frenetic energy buzzing in the room that I was definitely intoxicated with.

There were a few games and gags planned. A visit from the dog catcher... zombie mailmen (I guess b/c the pups killed the mailmen last year?)... a human-kitty... and, finally, Carlos DeVill. Oh, and pinatas full of squeaky toys. I wasn’t really into these gags. They didn’t bother me or particularly mess w/ my headspace... I just was much more interested in the puppies.

There was a wide variety of pups. Some pups are fun and silly. Some are cute and cuddly. Some are just fucking hot. I enjoyed being silly w/ some of the silly puppies. Nuzzling w/ some of the cuties. Wrestling w/ a few of the more aggressive pups. And, well, as for the really fucking hot ones...

I was particularly drawn to a pup in Deadpool zenti and Blackstyle hood. Maybe it was associations w/ the comicbook character, but he just seemed to have a fun, reckless, and sexy energy about him... and a cute butt. I would later learn that this was {XXX}. At various times during the mosh we found one another – often taking turns pouncing one-another, sometimes nuzzling, sometimes playing w/ toys, and sometimes sniffing, rubbing, and – yes, of course – humping.

I really enjoyed pouncing and pinning him. And (as you can see above) I enjoyed it sometimes being me on the bottom. :) Sir recently said that he thinks he can only bottom to another Alpha-switch (like his brother {XXX} ) b/c he really gets off on the way the Top role gets taken back-and-forth during the play and foreplay. I’m not a switch, but as a beta pup I definitely see what he means. I was just recently telling my pack-mate {XXX}: One thing I like about the puppy pack dynamic is that it is very organic and not artificial. It's not a Leather House where you earn your way up by longevity (e.g. ‘I was here first so I outrank you’) or something, nor does {XXX} try to impose an artificial ranking; he's always like, ‘you pups figure it out.’ {XXX} and I have evolved toward this beta/omega dynamic naturally. I didn't expect it of him, but he just started fetching my drinks and carrying my gear, and then I found myself holding his leash – and found that I really enjoy holding his leash. And still sometimes I can sense where he's feeling a bit Toppy (for {XXX}), and I roll with it and enjoy him biting me or pinning me.

For me, as a beta, meeting new pups, moshing, and playing, involves a lot of that testing one-another to see who’s going to be on top. And I love that part! And, you also find some natural omega pups (like {XXX}) where you just look at them cross and they give you their belly. LOL. While on the other side there are the Alphas – who are fun for a masochist like me to poke when I’m looking to get tore- up. But in-between you have all the betas pouncing and flipping Top/bottom... So much fun!

So... I think it was about midway through the mosh when a friend of {XXX}’s joined us: a sexy pup in a shiny rubber bodysuit and Wethot hood like mine (but w/ silver accents instead of my green) and gorgeous Asian eyes shinning through the hood. Woof! This I would later learn was {XXX}. We were also joined by another pup (in blue w/ another Blackstyle hood) who appeared to be w/{XXX}, and who would later be introduced to me as C. (no scene name, so I’ll just use an initial).

As the mosh started to wind-down, I spent much of the latter part snuggling and nuzzling w/ these three puppies.....

By that point in the mosh we were all pretty, freaking worn-out. I’d been on all fours romping non- stop the whole time: 3 hours! It was a serious workout! I was dripping sweat by the time Sir peeled my hood off. My wonderful Saint Bernard did a fine job the whole mosh, bringing me water and keeping me hydrated. I think Sir was just happy that there were plenty of other Handlers there.....

What did Woof Camp mean to me? I first started pup play 10 years ago, and have identified as a pup for almost as long. However, for almost all of that time I was just about the only pup I knew of in the Carolinas. It was so rare. (And even today, I’m the only pup the Charlotte Woodshed has seen.) Being allowed to join {XXX}’s pack and to have him as my Alpha has meant so much to me! It was my first sustained contact w/ other pups. My kin and kind! And, starting just a few years ago, the pup community in Atlanta has fucking exploded. This has allowed me to finally (after 7 or 8 years of being the lone oddball w/ that weird puppy-thing fetish) be w/ other pups and let my own inner pup really come forth. It’s been so wonderful! (And again, I can not thank {XXX} enough – nor thank my Owner enough for sharing me w/ Sir. I have the best Dominants ever!)

7 or 8 years of being almost alone in this fetish. Then a member of a pack and being welcomed into the greater Atlanta pup community. And now Woof Camp, where I got to mosh w/ dozens of my fellow pups. What does Woof Camp mean to me? A sort of homecoming. Puppy Mecca, indeed.