… But I would have thought that – were you the owner of a large, boisterous and poorly trained dog which had just jumped up twice at a visitor and then started sniffing their crotch in a way that had gone beyond embarrassing and was verging on sexual harrassment before proceeding to growl, bark, and finally lunge forward and nip at a rather tender spot on their inner thigh while you stood around ineffectually telling it to stop – the correct response is not ‘she’s all right really’, but ‘oh my God, I’m sorry are you all right?’
But in truth, while the British will famously say sorry when someone steps on their foot,* I keep forgetting that the same tendency to over-apologise never seems to apply to the behaviour of their dogs. This throws me every time it happens, even though I’m British myself, so I confined myself to pointing out that their dog had just bitten me (the word ‘actually’ may have forced its way past my gritted teeth with deadly intent) and leaving without a word.
* There was a Spanish woman who came to work in Bigtown a couple of years back. When I asked her how she was liking it (having apologised for the weather) she said, ‘I’d probably like it better it if people didn’t keep apologising for the weather and reminding me.’ For which I apologised. Obviously.