What’s the story behind Mr Puppy UK? How did the Mr Puppy Team first come about? It’s really the story of a group of friends who care for their community coming together to create something bigger than themselves. The first Mr Puppy UK contest was held in November 2015, and 2016 is the first calendar year in which the UK has been represented by its own Mr Puppy UK, but the history of the title goes back further than that.
In autumn of 2014, a team of eight kinksters and pet play enthusiasts met in London to help realise a vision. Europe had never had a puppy title contest before, and pup play was a new and rapidly rising interest in the kink and fetish community. We came from diverse backgrounds, and teamed up because we heard that our friend Jeroen, the organiser of Leatherpride Belgium, was considering creating a new title contest: a Mr Puppy Europe, to bring together puppies from across the continent in an exciting way. The organisers of Leatherpride Belgium were convinced that an international election would spark the idea of national elections along the continent. It was a grand idea, though none of us had ever been involved in such a title contest before. So, we agreed to help set up a puppy area at Darklands, provide pup-related entertainment for the attendees, and run and compete in the contest, all in aid of making it an enjoyable success.
The first Mr Puppy Europe, in February 2015, got off to a flashy start. We set up and ran Camp K-9, performed a 15-minute pup-themed cabaret song and dance routine, and managed and competed in the contest. Two of us – Brock and Diesel – entered as contestants, and a third of us – Kitty Rony – stage managed the contest. After two exhilarating, and exhausting, days of performance, camp management, and competition, the panel of judges elected Kriszly from the Netherlands as the first Mr Puppy Europe, with Brock coming in second. We didn’t win the title, but that didn’t matter: we’d had a wild and incredible weekend making the whole event happen, and we’d had an amazing time of it.
That’s when we decided that we simply had to bring some of that excitement home with us!
Over the next few months, we banded together to figure out just how to do that. We thought of the idea of creating a national-level competition in the UK to feed into the regional-level competition in Belgium, and we thought that would be a really fun way not only to build up and support the pup community in our home country but also to create a system for expanding the Mr Puppy universe in a logical and coordinated way. We wanted there to be a Mr Puppy for the UK. Thus, Mr Puppy UK was born. We spent the summer and autumn of 2015 working on making it happen.
The first Mr Puppy UK was held in Birmingham on 21 November 2015 as a part of Pup Social, which by then had grown to be the largest pup social event in the country. Taking us on board was a leap of faith for them, but they believed as we do in the pup community and in doing something grand and meaningful for pups everywhere. Fetish Freak and The Kinksters, both retailers of fetish gear including pet play products, came on board as sponsors, and the Manchester Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence came on board to lend their support as well.
The contest itself, though it took an enormous effort from all of us, succeeded beyond our hopes. We had seven contestants enter themselves – more than the previous Mr Puppy Europe contest had – and a panel of five judges including the former Mr Canadian Leather, the current Mr International Rubber, and the current Mr Puppy Europe, in a contest hosted by Sister Jacqui Moff of the Helping Hand and Pup Diesel. At the end of a full afternoon and evening’s worth of activities, the panel of judges announced that Zentai Spot had come in first, with Pup Minty and Pup Oakleigh in second and third place respectively. The country had its first Mr Puppy UK and pups across the country had their first national representative.
Zentai Spot’s title year went beyond all expectations in its reach and scope. Being the first, he had to blaze his own trail, and this he did, exceeding all expectations and most importantly his own. Zentai Spot helped bring visibility and acceptance to the pup community, which was at the beginning of a period of rapid growth and outreach.
Piglet, who succeeded him, went even further by encouraging an environment of forwardness and exploration. He dedicated his title year to encouraging pups to be confident in themselves and to explore their pup identities, and this had a great impact on the community, which continued to grow rapidly during his title year.
For our first two years, we held our contest in the Midlands, in Birmingham. We chose Birmingham because not only did they have a fun and vibrant pup community, but also Birmingham is reasonably accessible for pups from many parts of the country, and transport and accommodation costs are reasonable as well. It's important that people be able to come to our events and attend them. Birmingham showed us a good welcome, and our Brummie pup friends hosted us well!
For the third edition of our contest, however, we decided that moving forward we should rotate cities. There are other cities across the UK with active and vibrant pup scenes, as well as active and vibrant kink and fetish scenes, and we want to be able to show them some support as well.
We decided on Manchester: they too have a cohesive and rapidly-growing pup community, and they also have a centralised village with many friendly venues that happily support the pup community. In moving there, however, we wanted to make sure we involved as much of the local scene as possible, so we split the contest across various venues, that each might share in the fun. Manchester put out a terrific welcome for us for the third edition of our contest, and we couldn't be happier with how united and supportive the entire Manchester scene has been.
In 2018, as we were preparing to join the fourth Mr Puppy Europe contest, we decided it was time to codify our beliefs into a set of guiding principles. We have always had a vision for the community, which has evolved over time and over several elections, but we had never put it into writing. Drafting written principles would help us encourage others to engage with the pup community, and would help us explain who we are and what we believe in more clearly and effectively.
Thus, we codified our beliefs into seven principles which form the basis of the work we do, the vision we advance, and the community for which we advocate:
Everything we do is in alignment with these principles, and in our belief in a community based on unity and joy.
The contest to be held in 2019 will be the fifth edition of Mr Puppy UK. That's quite an anniversary. So, we want to do something really special for it! We hope to get some fun ideas from you about what might make our fifth anniversary particularly meaningful, and we're already thinking ahead to how we might make this one outstanding.
We also want to make sure that for our fifth edition, we find ways of ensuring more pups are included meaningfully, and ways of ensuring more of you are represented. That's important to us.
We at the Mr Puppy Team, together with our brothers across the continent and with our brothers at Mr Puppy Europe, believe in pups. We believe in community, and our vision is to advance the pup community as a joyful and inclusive brotherhood. Towards the future, we all hope that many countries will follow the example we set in the UK by holding their own national elections, and the Mr Puppy Team in the UK is fully committed to supporting our pup brothers in Europe achieve this. This would bring a lot of attention to the puppy scene and make it boom. It will also enable us to reach out to a lot of guys who haven’t yet found a way to enjoy their needs or fantasies, and bring happiness and joy to more men through a love of pup play. Because that’s why we do this: we love pups, and we believe in them.