Hachi has been a bit subdued since R's death. We managed to whisk him out of the room as the scene unfolded but he saw some of it, and he certainly knows that R is not here. Over the lives of our dogs, I've come to believe that some are not ready to witness the death of a sibling. Fortunately, so far, Hachi seems to be okay.
On R's last evening, he bumped into the outside of Hachi's ex pen when Hachi was in there. Hachi's reaction made us smile. He licked R's nose through the fence and wagged his tail. That is a far cry from how he reacted even just months ago. Hachi's heart is healing, which seems to make him able to act lovingly toward all his family members, even if he's stressed out.
That being said, we are being really careful right now. The dynamics of the pack are in flux, and we want to be sure to keep the bond between Shyla and Hachi strong. For now, that simply means continuing to keep them separated indoors and looking for opportunities for them to play together outdoors.
We are closing on our new place this week, which doesn't mean that we're moving right away. However, it does mean that we can spend time there. With its wide open and private spaces, Hachi and Shyla should have lots more chances to play.
Hachi's heart has grown so much that I feel as if he brings us mostly joy. That is how it should be.