When we lived on Bayou Derbonne, in south Chinquapin parish, we had dogs. I kept beagles for hunting, and we always had at least one house dog.
One day, I noticed a Redbone hound near the feeders. He wasn't greedy, simply got a bite of kibble, then took a drink of water, and moved along. I figured that he was a transient and promptly forgot about it. Two or three days later, I saw him again. A bite of kibble, a drink of water, and he moved along. No problem, but I asked a neighbor about that dog.
"No" he said. "Not my dog, but I've seen him around here. He gets a bite of kibble and moves on."
So, a week later, I asked another neighbor. "Nope," he said, "but he comes around a couple of times a week, gets a bite of dog food and moves on."
It looked like we had a neighborhood dog. He didn't cause trouble, start fights, or bother the children, he just took a bite of food, a drink of water, and moved along. He became a known quantity. Just a Redbone hound that preferred to be a hobo.One day, the boys were out exploring, riding bicycles, and came home to tell me that the Redbone had become deceased. Got run over. Laying in a ditch about a mile from the house.
Except, as it turned out, that Redbone wasn't as dead as he appeared. He had gotten run-over, but it hadn't killed him.. However, his shoulder was broken and when he layed in the ditch for two or three days, that front shoulder had knitted wrong and when he finally got his strength and stood up, that front shoulder held his paw up, crooked, over his head.
Everybody waves in the country. If you're driving your vehicle, or taking a walk late in the afternoon, you wave your hand at folks you see. It's friendly. It's expected, you wave.
That Redbone had become a tripod dog. Three legs on the ground, and one leg over his head. When he moved, that leg moved too, and it looked like he was waving. Without thinking, you'd wave back at him. It was a Pavlovian response, something waved at you, you'd wave back. That dog became the friendliest dog on the Bayou, and everyone commented on the waving dog. He lived several more yars, then succumbed to a bout of parvo, or heart worms, or maybe simply died of old age.