Amber’s Energetic Cuddle Bug

Rey was a covid dog.

When Amber and her son, Josiah, were home from work and school all day in the early months of the pandemic, the house seemed a bit too quiet. It had been about eight months since they’d lost both of their senior dogs in short succession, and even though Amber was so heartbroken at the time she swore she could never adopt again, she dearly missed having a dog around.

When Amber saw Rey’s photo on the Anderson Humane adoptables page, she was amazed that Rey looked like a combination of the two dogs they’d lost the year before. Amber and her son drove an hour to meet the three-month-old Boxer mix at our South Elgin shelter. “We instantly fell in love,” Amber said.

“She ran right up to my son, was all about him,” Amber said. “He was so excited.” So they took Rey home, and the happy puppy chaos commenced. “She was hyper and crazy. Running around all insane,” Amber said. She wondered what she’d gotten herself into, remembering that getting a puppy was her son’s idea, and one she relented to after much convincing.

Turns out, Rey’s crazy energy is exactly what the mother and son needed during the pandemic. “She got us out of the house as much as she could,” Amber said, adding that they often went to the nature preserve down the street, where Rey could run off leash. While Rey was soaking up canine attention at the dog park, Amber met a lot of friends and appreciated the push to keep going while she battled severe anemia.

Though Rey’s energy sometimes exhausted Amber, it was just right for Josiah. “Rey was made for him. They both have unlimited energy. They’ll run, play tug-of-war, wrestle,” Amber said, grateful that the duo get their energy out with each other.

Amber also appreciates Rey’s silly streak. “Rey is hilarious, always making us laugh. The way she bounces a ball around and still chases her tail,” Amber said. “She made us laugh when life was so serious.”

Amber’s four-year-old nephew, Mason, is also crazy about Rey. Mason, who is in a wheelchair, loves taking Rey for walks, carefully holding her leash and cracking up the whole time. Rey, in turn, is obsessed with kissing Mason. “I’ll say, ‘Enough kisses, Rey,’ and Mason will say, ‘No auntie! Rey, more kisses.’” Mason can’t have a dog of his own as his mom has her hands full, but he doesn’t seem to know the difference. “He tells everyone at school he has a dog named Rey Rey,” Amber said with a laugh.

While Rey has grown from 15 pounds to 70, she still thinks she’s a lap dog. She’s also still working on not eating tennis balls and other non-edible things. “She’s a lot of work,” Amber said, but quickly adds that the payoff is great.

“Rey is a ball of energy, but she also is a cuddle bug. After she goes out to play and gets her energy out, she cuddles up by me on the couch or in bed. She’s just a sweetheart. Even the vet has a note in her chart that she’s the sweetest dog ever.”

Despite the high energy, ongoing training, and hour-long drive to first get Rey, Amber said, “She’s absolutely worth it. We love Rey so much. We’re so thankful you guys saved her and that we were able to find her. She keeps us going!”

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