Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Posted June 26, 2015
Maxi isn't exactly my dog, she's my sister's dog, but I helped with much of the raising while we were kids and now that my sister's working in China I've started caring for her. Maxi is a friendly dog, generally even to other dogs unless they bark first, and she's almost always eager for a walk. Maxi is a Legal Blab, a black labrador/beagle cross. We first found her as a puppy when we lived in the country (along with her brother, Sirius), and the differences between the two were pronounced.
Sirius was whip-thin, able to leap over any fence (it was scary sometimes) and eager to run and run forever, while Maxi liked staying at home closer to the people. Maxi has a barrel-shaped body that differs from Sirius', and while Sirius wouldn't stop barking some days, Maxi rarely ever vocalizes anything unless she's tethered outside.
Sadly, Sirius vanished one day and we were never able to locate him. Maxi has been with us all that time, though, and has since moved to the city. The transition to being a city dog... having to stay indoors almost all the time, and using leashes while outside... went better than I expected. Sadly, we didn't take much effort for training while she was little, and it's difficult now to motivate her.
Lately she's been lying down a lot and more reclusive, possibly just because she's tired (and at 14 years old I wouldn't be surprised). She's had hip problems, as many dogs of her breed do, but with the right medicines she's been improving drastically. She went from barely moving to wanting to take three or four walks per day.
For what it's worth, she was once hit by a car and she lived. The vet said "The labrador makes her tough, and the beagle makes her stupid." Or maybe it was the other way around. I don't think she's stupid... she's demonstrated an aptitude for strategy that's surprised me at times... but she's definitely a tough, hardy little dog. I don't know how much longer she'll be with us, but she's great.
Oh, and she's terrified of baths. She once displaced the bathroom sink trying to get away from the bath. These are strong dogs, and tough, and they tend not to take no for an answer, so know what you're getting into with a dog like this.
One last side effect from either aging or moving to the city: she can't go outside whenever she wants anymore, and often doesn't want to just be tethered outside when she could be exploring, and this frustrates her. She used to be housebroken in the country, but she's losing that a bit. She might just be old, or she might think that since she can't go outside and we're uncooperative that she might want to take matters into her own hands. One way or the other, she occasionally remembers the mats we've put down for her.