When Cubbie was a younger pug, I took him everywhere I went. He was my constant companion, a rotund, game-for-anything, kindhearted creature with an infectious grunt.
I took him to bars. I took him to restaurants. I took him to stores that were cool with dogs. I took him to ice cream shops that were cool with pugs. Each week for four years, I took him to the bank to make a deposit and get a bone. At the mere mention of the word bank, he’d pounce off the couch, run for the door and hop into the passenger seat of my car. It was our Monday morning ritual.
I took him to our wedding. I dressed him in a tuxedo and a top hat. I tied a little white pillow to his back and asked him to carry our rings. He obliged, as he obliges to most things most of the time.
I took him to the top of a mountain in Colorado and to the bottom of a valley in Idaho. I took him to Graceland. I took him to Chicago. I took him to the Oregon Coast and let him run without a leash into the Pacific Ocean, the memory of which is so fresh in my mind I can still smell the salt on his fur as I smuggled him past the front desk in a no-dogs-allowed hotel.
I can still see the wild look in his eyes when, after spending three weeks on the road, sleeping in a tent with me, I let him crash on a pillow in a queen-sized bed. King Cub.