Nate also knows Toni, though he probably doesn’t remember her from her first two visits. He met her during the visit resulting in the infamous claustrophobia incident at my parents and then again when we went to Charlotte for my brother’s wedding a month later. He had never met Téa, but actually no one in Charlotte had met Téa yet. My sister shows Nate family photos every day, though, so that he will know who all of his relatives are even if they live far away. For our part of the family, those photos also include ones of T2.
It didn’t take long after our arrival to realize that not only did Nate get along with T2, he actually wanted to be T2. Every morning when Toni crawled into Téa’s crate for a little nap (and possibly a moment’s rest from Nate’s constant chatter), Nate needed to crawl in with her. “Look. Look. Pearl and I get in crate.” He was really in with Toni, but all of those
Then there was trick time. T2 have to work at least a little for nearly everything. They sit before going outside, sit or lie down while a meal is being prepared and so on. So did our new “puppy,” Nate. Nate sat with T2 before going outside. He sat while I made their dinner. One morning, when Nate was feeling particularly chatty and that he ought to be touching or petting the dogs every other second, my sister was feeling particularly short of patience with
I did have to stop myself short of picking Nate up his own collar when we stopped by a Target during my visit—my sister would have invited us back but I think it would have been touch-and-go with my brother-in-law if we’d put a collar on his son. Which I think makes it clear that the moral of this story, with apologies to Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, must be “Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be pit bulls.”