My life as a dog: or how I cocked a leg at the point-to-point

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The Independent Online

My dog Huxley has a simple outlook on life: if he likes it, he licks it; if he doesn't he pees on it. It's such a simple, almost spiritual way of life that I have done my best to try to follow his teachings myself.

My dog Huxley has a simple outlook on life: if he likes it, he licks it; if he doesn't he pees on it. It's such a simple, almost spiritual way of life that I have done my best to try to follow his teachings myself. This has obviously got me into fairly sticky situations but it has generally served me well. There are some particular situations where I'm never too sure as to whether to lick or pee. One of these is the world of the country point-to-point. I'm going to one this Saturday that I went to last year. I'm still not entirely sure whether I enjoyed it last time so I'm obviously taking Huxley for guidance.

I'm not totally sure what the actual point of a point-to-point is as it simply seems to be a scaled-down version of a proper race meeting. It's 20 minutes to Cheltenham from where I live so you would have thought that, if horse-racing was your bag, then that might be a slightly better option, but apparently some people just can't get enough. Like most horse-racing bashes, no one really sees much of the horses. The epicentre is, quite rightly, the beer tent. People occasionally pop off to the bookies to place a sweaty tenner on a horse with a name that amuses a drunk. Bookies love these horses as they tend to be complete outsiders and have names like Horny Housewife or Anal Bender. Actually, sorry about that, I've just got broadband and have been experimenting with what's available on the net. A lot of it is absolutely disgusting, pure filth - it's fantastic - but I digress.

Back at the point-to-point you can try to gain some kudos by arriving in an enormous four-by-four. You can picnic out of a boot originally designed for camel recovery and guffaw loudly at anyone you know who turns up in a Volkswagen Polo. Huxley and I wandered around peeing on all the new Range Rover Vogues last year. It was a great laugh. Once drunk you can follow your wife around the various stalls dotted around the event. Within these canvas walls lies a fairly good guide to what makes country folk tick, and it's pretty depressing. On the top of the hill is the country celeb/rock-star stall of choice selling quad bikes. No self-respecting country media mansion is complete without a couple of these noisy and, frankly, pointless machines. Obviously Huxley and I licked the paintwork off these babies.

Then it's off for a quick pee on the stall that offers revoltingly twee oil portraits of your dog. Why anyone would want one of these is quite beyond me. Huxley was in hysterics and unfortunately pissed himself before getting one of the "artists" on her trousers before we retreated back to the beer tent.

He has quite a cultured eye when it comes to the visual arts. He always howls all the way through my TV programmes. I've always been too embarrassed to thank him but he knows it's appreciated. We always finish off with a prolonged leak on the clothing stalls. Most of my youth was spent as a sulky goth being laughed/spat at by country folk who found my moving sartorial expression of individuality unacceptable. Country pubs would go as quiet as the one in An American Werewolf in London whenever I walked in. A walk through a village anytime after dark would invariably end up in a good kicking.

The irony of this is that country folk are among the weirdest dressers this side of the Rio carnival. Ruddy-faced Sloanes ponce about in puce-pink cords, brown suede loafers and big floppy trilbys. It's like wandering into some colour-blind cult convention. Huxley and I will give a final salute to the rack of wellies before retiring home to watch Lassie the Movie. It's a good life.

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