What I learned from Downton Abbey …

Himself & I came late to the Downton Abbey party. Before we became a couple, I’d watched a couple of episodes and decided it had potential, but life took a turn… and I forgot. But after a run of particularly violent and gory films (I may have mentioned I’d not seen Tarantino’s famed offerings), Himself decided I deserved a respite – so we watched the film.

Then, of course, we had to binge watch all six seasons. And all the special documentaries about the making of Downton Abbey. Indeed, it may have contributed quite significantly to our sang froid during the first UK lockdown.

In amongst the gorgeous house, the amazing (upstairs) outfits, Thomas’s twists & turns, Himself decided his favourite bits were the cars and Isis (the Labrador). So we both chuckled mightily during the episode in which Cora had her head turned by another man, but what Robert saw fit to complain about was… how it was rude for a chap to flirt with another man’s dog 😀

This lesson came to mind on a recent evening stroll around our little local park, when a small poodle raced over. We both bent down and paid it a polite amount of attention before walking on without a backward glance. Much to our surprise, it danced around us in a most determined “play with me” manner. Turning to look at the owner, I smiled and shrugged – trying to make it clear that we had not been flirting with their dog. But the dog persisted, despite the owner trying to entice it back with balls and other playthings. It was not until she bribed him with biscuits that he returned to her.

Said poodle has behaved in the same manner every single time I’ve seen it since in the park – and not only with me. I’m not sure what the etiquette is for when an owner has clearly bonded so little with their pet that it throws itself at everyone else it meets.

Do you flirt with other people’s dogs? 😉 If you’re a dog owner, how do you feel about other people’s behaviour with your dogs?


© Debra Carey, 2021

10 comments

  1. The kids say I am now a dog mom but I never considered myself a flirt with other dogs. I say if Benny wants to play nice with others that’s okay. He mostly barks – LOL

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  2. I like dogs, admire them from afar, but don’t flirt with them. I’m a cat person and dogs kind of scare me on the first meeting. But if I know the owner and the dog, then I’m all about the pet, pets.

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  3. LA, I tend to greet dogs as well as their owners when I see them when I’m out walking. I’m almost offended when I get no response – possibly more so from the dogs than their owners 😉

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  4. Aw Janet, I love that you’re a dog mom 🙂 One day, Himself & I would like a dog – we’ve each had them in the past and while growing up. Perhaps when either of us retire. I always think it’s meant as a compliment when a dog is greeted (or flirted with in Downton parlance!)

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  5. Ally, I’m a cat person first & foremost – as I think all the best people are 😀 although I grew up with both and probably preferred dogs when I was younger. But my old black cat converted me for life. One day, in the not too distant future, I hope to have a squad of black cats, although I’ll probably have to squeeze a ginger one in as I’ve a bit of a soft spot of them as well. I’ve learned to read and pay attention to a dog’s body language – growing up in countries where rabies was a genuine problem, it was a necessary early lesson.

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  6. I completely forgot that scene with Robert, Cora’s brief dalliance, and the man’s attraction for Isis. That’s funny. I’m always jealous when people discover a popular show years later, long after I’ve already seen it. It must have been fun binge watching those episodes. I was always a Carson lover because he was more of a snob than the upstairs folk (except the Dowager, I suppose).

    There’s not a dog in our development that I don’t want to stop and pet on every walk I take. Some of their owners probably cringe when they see me coming. 🙂 – Marty

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  7. Marty, we had a lot of fun catching up with it. One of the few benefits of lockdown is that we’ve had ample opportunity to watch much of what passed us by before. I was without a TV for a few years before Himself moved in with me, so my list of unwatched TV series is very long indeed. Persuading Himself that items on the list aren’t too “girly” is quite another matter 😀

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  8. My husband and I have just recently caught on to Downton Abbey through lockdown streaming. It has been a hoot to watch and we have loved seeing Isis as part of the family. We were angry with Thomas for his stunt to lose her just so he could rescue her later. My personal favorite was an exchange between the Dowager and cousin Isobel, with the Dowager snootily putting Isobel in her place, to which Isobel replies, “I shall take that as a compliment”, only to have the Dowager quickly ask, “Really? Oh dear, then I must have said it all wrong.”

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  9. Lori, I have to say I agree with you about the interaction between cousin Isobel & the Dowager, which I love. The sharp wit – simply perfect 🙂

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