We always felt that, when the time came, R's death would be very hard on Shyla.
|Dark Smoky Days|
R was Shyla's rock, back in the days when it felt like Shyla could barely function due to her fears. Soon after Shyla came to live with us, it was clear that R being present raised her confidence immeasurably. Whenever possible, it was Shyla's choice to be close to R - whether it was during a hike or when snoozing in the house. In fact, as many remember, Shyla loved to snuggle up to R very closely.
Indeed, losing R is very hard on Shyla. Shyla has a variation on separation anxiety that has escalated in the past week. She cannot stand to be kept away from me and the Runner when we're at home with her - and starts barking continuously when that happens.
We are sorting through solutions that let Shyla be next to us but also give Hachi some freedom within the house (we are keeping them separated). I will spare you the details but it involves an ex pen around Shyla's bed which is placed right next to us. Shyla is totally content when she's close to us, and Hachi is totally content when he's able to be free. So, this is working so far.
On the happier side of the ledger, Shyla completely adores our new place which we've been visiting regularly. It has a big creek, and Shyla joyfully splashes and swims in it. She also is working on perfecting her belly flop into the deeper parts of the creek. Then she comes up, nose high, ready to sprint out onto the bank to do it again.
When she comes out of the water, she and Hachi play joyously. I am so glad that she and Hachi are such great play buddies!
I think that Shyla will be okay. All of her frolicking will help her heart to heal. But she will never ever forget the big brother who gave her the confidence to walk through this world happily.