A few weeks ago, we went upstate for the weekend.

As you can imagine, the demand for places to stay outside the city has rocketed, and we had to move fast to secure something – especially as it was a last minute thing.

In moments of haste such as these, the visuals tend to seduce more than the words. We found a place that tickled all the visual sensors. We didn’t have time to read the small print.

On arrival, the small print was there to greet us.

“Do you like dogs?” our host asked genially as he opened the farmhouse door to welcome us in.

We stiffened slightly.

No, not really, we thought. Yapping, hair-shedding, crotch-grabbing, smelly, gnashing. No thanks.

Nonetheless, we stammered an unconvincing affirmative and crossed the threshold. We awaited the inevitable shock of a pack of feral canines thrashing through the room at any moment.

A full minute later, and a pair of bulldogs lumbered into view. They were weathered and gnarled, yet slow and gentle. Two veterans who still stationed their posts manfully, even though the battle was already won. They nosed around us for a moment, snorted, then went back to their preferred positions.

No problem at all.

The question our host asked us was completely reasonable and polite.

What was missing were our follow ups. We were either too polite or not attuned enough to ask them.

What type of dogs?

Are they used to guests?

Will they make me sneeze?

So, do you like dogs?

Or, do you like ice cream? Do you like Spain? Do you like working in teams? Do you like being under pressure?

It depends. Until we follow up.

Do you like dogs?

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