Recently, my brother reminded me of Shyla's extreme fearfulness when we met her in 2012. She was so fearful that we couldn't let anyone outside our family interact with her directly. If they looked at her or spoke to her, she'd collapse onto the ground and lose control of her bladder.
As we tried to help Shyla not to be afraid of new people, we'd orchestrate outdoor meetings with new people. She could only handle meeting them if they were walking away from me and Shyla. Shyla and I would shadow them by about 10-20 yards. As long as no one looked at her, she was okay.
My brother recollected that it was a couple of YEARS before he could look at Shyla without scaring her. And it wasn't just him, it was all outsiders.
My reaction to the memories of Shyla's early years was "REALLY?!?". I'd almost forgotten. Shyla is so close to normal now that I hadn't thought about her early days recently. Until my memory was jogged, I didn't remember that she and I met with a trainer weekly for a couple of years (with daily practice of the things that the trainer taught us).
R was Shyla's touchstone, and perhaps he prepared her to take on this role for Hachi. He was such a gentle and loving big brother to her, and now Shyla can pass that along to Hachi.
It is amazing that Shyla has grown up to have such confidence. I am so happy for her. And it gives me even more hope for Hachi.