March 2021 Creature Feature - Jazz!
Updated: Aug 3, 2021
The pet play lifestyle is full of so many voices that make it unique and vibrant. To showcase this, every month we will be shining the spotlight on a particular human animal or Handler in our community. Let's hear what makes every pet player special!
This March, we chatted with a wonderful Great Dane pupper (and occasional cat!). She brightens our moshes and virtual spaces, and is the most incredible artist! Introducing...
Please introduce yourself and how you identify in pet play.
Hello, I am Jazz (she/her) and I am primarily a Great Dane pup player, although sometimes I dip into being a cat!
How did you first get started in pet play?
Growing up, I was "That Kid" who would pretend to be a dog when playing make believe, so I guess I've always had my pup side. When I entered the LA scene a while back and found out that pet play was a thing, I was instantly drawn to it. My dear friend who dragged me into the scene (willingly of course, haha) was also a pup who introduced me to the community and other pups and pets, which led me to SoCal Creatures!
How did you discover your breed, and what does it mean to you?
When I was first getting into pet play, all I knew was that I was a big dog. I started out with some generic gear, but it didn't feel quite right to me. So, I did some research on some of the larger breeds, general characteristics and such, and I landed on the Great Dane. Even though it's one of the largest dogs, is also one of the laziest and also very affectionate, which spoke to me immensely, and that's really when my pup-self started to take shape. I find that having a focus helps me get into the mindset better, and having a breed to connect with feels more natural. I recently got a custom hood specifically designed after a Great Dane, and when I put it on, all I could think was - "This is me!"
Jazz's hood was made by Chilli's Woof Stuff. Instagram: @chillis_woof_stuff
What are your favorite activities as a pet?
Playing with my friends, fetch, tug of war, and then big cuddle puddles afterwards!
How, if at all, do your intersections of identity interact with your pet play?
I view pet play as simply an extension and exploration of myself, so there is definitely some overlap between my everyday self and when I'm in pet mode. For instance, I am a brat to my core, and that definitely carries over when I'm in petspace. I enjoy play fighting and poking fun at other pets, however, I'm also the biggest pushover and it does not take that much to get the upper hand over me!
On the other side, even when I'm not all decked out as a pup or cat or actively engaging in pet play, I find traits in myself that I associate with my pet side. Another thing that crosses over to pet play I suppose is the fact that I'm asexual. I know many people incorporate sensual and sexual aspects into their petspaces, but my interactions tend to be platonic in nature. Sexual tendencies don't really exist to me in general, so I don't have any instincts (like that) to act on when I'm in a petspace.
How do you hope to see the pet play community grow in the future?
I really hope the community continues to expand and become even more inclusive and diverse! I consider myself very lucky to have found a local community that welcomes all identities and is beautiful because of that. My wish is that the community at large will become a place that uplifts and celebrates diversity as well.
What do you love most about pet play?
I love community pet play the most - messing around with other pets of all kinds. It's such a wonderful energy; it's really what I enjoy the most. I find it a little hard to put into words exactly the sort of care I feel when I see other pets. There's something honest and precious about interacting when you can let yourself go, act on instinct, and rely almost solely on nonverbal gestures to communicate. It can be a very vulnerable thing for some, which is why I appreciate it all the more to be let into that space and to participate!
Want to keep up with Jazz or commission an art piece? Follow her on Instagram, @jazzygillespie.