I thought it might be interesting to some to discover how I met my boys. These both come very much under the “strange things happen” category. I write both of these stories both because I love to share how it happened, and to let other unattached guys recognize that the most bizarre twist of fate can lead to a loving relationship.

I'll start with the first, Scrappy (who, I knew by his real name only at the time):

I needed some help with an event, and advertised for guys to help, in return for certain perks. I had filled my quota when Scrappy wrote and inquired if I would be interested in his participation. A little background... Scrappy was a customer of mine. A good customer. We had spoken often on the phone, and I recognized him as a decent, professional, and well mannered person. Over the course of time I developed a mental picture. Not far from my age, a professional position, careful with his words, but confident in what he wanted, a top, or at least mostly.

When he wrote I explained that I had just filled the last slot, but would be happy to contact him first for the next event if I needed additional people. We left it at that.

Three days before the event one of my new guys called and said he couldn't make it because he just met someone and he didn't want him to go (I'll skip the long dissertation on relationships, control, and mental abuse).

I thought about Scrappy, and decided that he would be a possibility. Now, I have to be frank. Cute young guys at gay event sell things better than guys my age, so he was, at best, a last minute necessary substitution. But as a good customer he knew my product, so that would be a plus. He said he would still be interested, but there could be a scheduling problem. We played with airline flights and such, and decided on one that would get him there a little late, but workable.

Set up for any trade show sucks. Totally sucks. The people who are working are stressed out because of time constraints, and become tired and hungry. The last thing we want is to have someone show up to visit while we are busting our asses. I, therefore, tell all my people that if anyone asks for me the stock answer is “I don't know, he might be around”. Not a lie, and some isolation from wasting time.

So there I am, trying to get things set up, unhappy with how everything is turning out, seeing how much there is yet to be done, when I hear “Is (my name) around”? Instant cringe. Leave me alone! The person he asked ignores my instructions, and points me out. I turn around and see this little muscular bundle of energy dripping with sweat from rushing to get to the event, bouncing down the aisle, tons of luggage in tow, and he says “Hi! I'm XXX (real name)”.

Well, so much for making a mental picture of someone on the phone!

Two shows later, and circumstances that are too private to discuss here, he was no longer collared as he was when we first met We met, as we had often before, on one of my trips to Florida, his home.

One long dinner and discussion later, I offered my collar, he accepted, and as of this writing we are going on seven years.

Linus:

Scrappy and I went to International Mr. Rubber in Chicago, mainly for the puppy play event. It was almost two years after he had accepted my collar. So the time for puppy play comes, and we are having a great time. He romping with the other pups, I on the side line tossing the occasional ball or chew toy. I had brought some doggie treats (shortbread cookies cut into the shape of dog bones – or at least they all were before the plane trip). I call out to Scrappy and he comes over to get a treat. A few minutes later I have him balancing them on his snout and tossing them up to catch.

Along comes another pup, all in red latex, with a really cute pup hood. He sniffs around, and whimpers, and I give him a treat. A few treats later he and Scrappy are playing together in the puppy pit.

The event ends. Scrappy changes (Chicago is used to a lot, but we figured a full puppy suit was a bit much), and we head to the hotel. Standing at the elevator we both hear “woof!” from behind us. Turning around (and looking up – something I don't have to do often) this guy, this good looking guy, with a very deep woof, is standing there. I make a non-committal “woof” in return, and continue to wait for the elevator. A bit of an awkward silence, and he says “Oh shit – you don't know who I am. I'm the red pup”. We strike up a conversation, and discover that he is alone. We invite him to join us for dinner.

We spend the rest of the weekend mostly together, and to condense time, a couple of months later I ask if he would like to join us for the next event where I will be vending.

We do that event, and at one point, about in the middle, Scrappy comes to me and says “Sir, can I have a little, well, big little brother?”

Yup, pup #2.

I love them both, truly love them, and they are my world.