Thanks for the helpful/constructive comments.
As for the 'if you want to leave your dog alone at all then you don't deserve to have him' type comments, they don't really help and are pretty pointless as the only reason that we want to take him along is to spend time with him and take him away to new places. Do you never leave your dog alone? Because if you do, then you're just as bad as you are implying we are.
If there's any risk of harming him then we wouldn't do it.