Meet theNew Member of My Family

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After talking about it for years—seriously, years—my partner, Adam, and I finally adopted a dog, a pug we named Howard.

We certainly got a taste of what it's like to benew parents. For all the joy, however, I've found it frustrating that I can't travel the way I used to. Bringing Howard along has seemed too difficult, but none of our friends really want to take care of him. And you can't just lock your dog in the attic the way you can your kids.

When we were invited to a wedding at Keswick Hall, a fancy hotel in Charlottesville, Va., we decided to take Howard with us. (Not to the ceremony: The bride vetoed that.) He enjoyed his weekend—as a city dog, he finds grass to be a big event—but I didn't enjoy his being there all that much. He barked whenever someone walked down the hallway, and I was convinced that the other guests thought we were weird to bring our dog. "We're eccentric!" Adam said. If you ask me, the fact that we were two men made us eccentric enough. I like to be sort of anonymous when I travel, and pugs weren't exactly designed to fly under the radar. Pugs weren't designed for much of anything at all.

Our next trip is to Newport Beach, Calif., and Adam wanted to bring Howard on that trip, too, so we bought him tickets ($95 each way) on our flights. But after Charlottesville, I realized that I need a vacation from all of my responsibilities, and that includes the little booger (Howard, not Adam). We cajoled some friends into helping out, and Continental Airlines, amazingly enough, refunded the money. I'm probably a terrible parent for so looking forward to the trip—but I'm sure I'll miss him like crazy.


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