As I look through my photo library from the past year, it tells the story of Shyla as a big sister who was helping raise Hachi slowly but surely.
When he was a puppy, she seemed to know to hang back and let him win. Whenever I called the two of them to me, Shyla would let Hachi get an early lead.
Shyla's approach seemed to build Hachi's confidence for playing with her. I think that it might be a big part of why he trusts her so much now.
Shyla no longer holds back at all with Hachi. She races full out when they play chase and she uses her full strength when they wrestle. I suspect that all of her maternal behavior over the past year built a well of trust in Hachi.
Here were the two of them last spring, snoozing in a sun puddle together.
She is a special dog.