Cooper Brown: He's Out There

'Manson was violently shaking his head around, twisting the little gay dog like a limp rag doll'
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My friend Ben loves soccer. I mean REALLY loves soccer and he goes to watch Chelsea all the time. Because of this addiction, he's made friends with quite a few guys who Jermaine Jackson would call "white trash". They are mostly Cockney people with little education but Ben really gets off on hanging out with them and getting into fights in pubs.

Two months ago, he got into a really big fight on the subway and got hit on the head with a bottle. He proudly showed off his battle scars at a dinner party we held for James Blunt and his stunning babe - everyone was oohing and aahing. I guess it's true - chicks dig bad boys.

The downside of this particular fracas was that one of Ben's "mates", Darren, was sentenced to five months in jail for assault. Darren was the owner of a particularly vicious pit bull called Manson, who was his pride and joy. When he went to jail, Ben agreed to look after Manson for him. Ben, however, decided to go to Barbados for two weeks with his new girlfriend and asked me to look after the dog. So Ben. That's why I'm sitting in the Cooperdome staring at a frickin' huge dog slobbering all over the tiger rug.

My in-laws love animals and I did think about getting them to look after the monster for me. The idea of it rampaging around their home ripping everything and everyone to shit was fabulous but there was no way I was putting the brute in the Quattroporte, so it was my problem.

After it had crapped three times in the Dome, I figured that it was probably the moment to take it for a walk. I didn't have a leash or anything so I made a perfunctory one from some Paul Smith shoelaces. It actually looked quite cool and worked pretty well all the way down Westbourne Grove. I got a lot of respect from passers-by. I also noticed that chicks really dig a guy with a dog. I guess it makes me look sensitive despite the fact that he's not exactly the sort of pooch you bend down and pat, not if you value your fingers, that is.

I'd just got to one of my favourite breakfast spots, the uber-cool 202 café, when things got a bit out of hand. Two very smartly dressed Notting Hill power babes wafted out of the joint and one of them, a Posh Spice lookalike, was carrying one of those little designer dogs, complete with pink jacket, under her arm. Manson is no dummy and he's certainly no vegetarian. He went nuts. He lunged for the foo-foo, the shoelaces snapped and before anyone could do anything he had the little mutt in his lockjaw. The women went berserk, the owner was crying and screaming while the other was hitting ME with her frickin' handbag. I made a paltry effort to break the two dogs up but it was pretty much over before it began. Manson was violently shaking his head around, twisting the little gay dog like a limp rag doll. There was no way he was going to let this one go and there was certainly no way that I could do anything about it.

I really didn't know the procedure for this kind of incident. At the end of the day, it was dogs being dogs, so I kind of apologised and tried to leave the scene with Manson. The women started screaming at me like I was the murderer and then this poncy French bastard comes out from the café and starts calling the police on his cell. What were they going to do? I asked. Arrest Manson? Put him on trial? Jesus, I realised that this was upsetting but it was only a dog. It wasn't like he'd gone for a child. But you Brits love your animals and the whole scene was just getting worse and worse so I did what any grown man would do in that situation. I ran.

Manson and I sprinted off down towards Whiteleys, he with the little dead dog still hanging from his jaws - we must have looked a pretty strange pair. I got back to the Cooperdome and locked myself in and decided that I probably wouldn't be able to return to 202 for a while.

I have no idea how anyone can keep a dog in a city? It's impossible. There are far too many temptations for them and if you think that I'm the kind who is going to scoop up my own dog's shit then think again. Dogs should be in the country or locked up. Even more frustrated, now I knew what he was capable of, that I couldn't drop him off at the in-laws, I rang some kennels in a place called Manor Park and they are coming to pick him up. They will have to deal with him until Ben's back from his Caribbean fuck-fest.

The worst part was what to do with the little dead dog? I eventually put it in a plastic bag and tried to walk down the road nonchalantly, hoping that I wouldn't get involved in an accident and have to explain why I was carrying a gay dead dog, dressed in a torn pink jacket, in a bag. I felt like a Korean chef on shopping duties.

You know when you try to look innocent you totally look guilty? Like when you're going through customs and you're actually not carrying any dope but you try to look all casual and end up sweating and they pull you over and slit open your toothpaste anyways? I'm standing by this garbage can and I'm about to drop the corpse in but I keep thinking everyone is staring at me and I keep stopping. I finally decide that I'm going crazy and dump the bag and head to Jack's for a strong cocktail or seven. It's a dog's life all right... Cooper Out.;