It’s hard to imagine, but this is my final day before I take a week’s vacation.

The first order of business will be a bath for my dog Ted and a couple hours of lawnmowing. Things have gotten a bit out of hand this week as I’ve focused on trying to set my team up for success next week without me. I’m sure they’ll have no problem — or if nothing else, the same amount of problems we normally have.

I don’t know what Ted got into this time, but whatever it was, it wasn’t very alive. It’s not the worst thing he’s ever tried to coat himself with, but you can definitely smell he’s added an aroma in the past couple days.

A security guard at my past job and I used to talk about our dogs while I was outside taking a break. Ted had rolled in something earlier that day and I was telling him about it. He told me, “Man, that’s his cologne. He thinks that smells good and other dogs like it too.”

This was in the wintertime, so when I got home I had to give Ted a bath in the bathtub. Ted’s good about taking a bath. I have to lift him and set him in the tub, but once he’s in there he’ll hold still and let me lather him up with dog shampoo and rinse him. He’ll even wait for me to get another handful of shampoo without trying to jump over the side and escape.

He got out of the tub that time and I toweled him off a bit, but he seemed to be in a weird mood. He ran out of the towel and out of the bathroom. He ran into the kitchen — I could hear a clatter of toenails. He ran into the living room. Up on the couch, down on the floor, back up on the couch, down on the floor.

Finally my damp dog Ted ran out of gas and lay on the carpet, panting, just looking at me. He was in a mood, for sure.

“What’s the matter, buddy?”

A low growl.

“Are you mad? You mad, bro?”

Ted growled again. He wasn’t happy, not one bit.

Then it dawned on me.

“Oh … I washed off your cologne, didn’t I?”

In a drawn-out growl/whine, Ted seemed to say, “Yeah you did, and it took me a long time to collect just the right combination of smells.”

I started laughing, and that drove Ted over the edge. He was growling as he ran out into the front room, then a clatter of toenails as he came flying through the kitchen into the living room. Up on the couch, down on the floor. One more time through the circuit.

I was laughing so hard I was almost crying. “Ooooh poor Teddy, I washed your cologne off!” He finally was running out of gas, but he was still angry about my teasing and took a little nip at my hand as he went by.

“HEY!” I said in my deepest voice, jabbing my index finger at him. He realized he’d crossed the line and stood still while I finished toweling him off.

“I’m sorry buddy,” I said. “It’s not very nice of me to tease you, especially after I washed your cologne off.”

He looked at me over his shoulder as if to say, “you’ve ruined my life.”

Today he’ll probably get the garden hose treatment if it’s a nice day out, which it should be. It makes it easier for me, but Ted doesn’t like being sprayed with the hose; it scares him a little bit.

Anyway, once he’s clean, I think I owe Ted a little bit of quality time, probably a walk and a car ride. I’m sure we can work something out.

I’m planning a trip to Cedar Point sometime next week; I haven’t been there in probably 12 years or so, and I might make it down to catch the Tigers in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It will just be nice to relax for a bit, try to unplug from all the drama that’s been going on and probably do more golfing than I really should.

But first thing’s first — Ted’s new cologne has got to go!

Bill Petzold is the editor of the Tuscola County Advertiser. He can be reached at