In our local area, there is a young man who walks his Great Dane every day, usually during work hours when he’s unlikely to meet many other dogs. He keeps the dog on a very long leash – what I (of a horsey background) would call a lunging rein. At the park, the leash is allowed to go long and loose and the dog (an enormous black and apparently ungainly thing) leaps and swerves and sniffs much like any other dog.
But occasionally, the young man gathers himself (and the leash to prevent tripping) and runs, full pelt, across the grass as fast and as far as his fitness allows. With the increase of pace, the dog suddenly changes character entirely. His huge head elevates, his gait becomes springy and suspended and his muscles ripple glossily beneath his coat. While the man is bullet-like and condensed, the dog is fluid and exceptional. He is a song for my eyes.
Grace. Nobility. Power. Who would have thought to see it in a large-headed, whip-tailed dog?