Best in Hounds
Monday, February 14, 2011
Here's a baby picture of one of my favorite dogs. Awwww. I'm posting it in honor of one of my favorite television events which begins tonight, the Westminster Kennel Club Show. I happened on it by accident a few years ago and fell under the spell of Margot, a Scottish Deerhound who was chosen Best in Hounds. You can see a picture here of a deerhound, though not Margot, who was ever so much lovelier. I have never before been spellbound by a dog, but Margot was something special.
She was elegant she was sleek, she was self-possessed. And something more, something that is, I think, the reason I remember Margot with such fondness: she had dignity.
Dignity is hard to come by these days. It’s a lost virtue that sounds old-fashioned, a little fusty, a little doddering. We hardly ever think about dignity any more. Certainly few people aspire to it in these days of reality tv and tell-all media exposure. Even my blog feels so much more public than anything I’ve written before and I’m never unaware of the balance between trying to maintain privacy and veering toward over-sharing. I confess it’s more than a little embarrassing to admit that I’m a groupie for a former Best in Hounds.
There is a grace to dignity, a willingness to leave some things unsaid, some aspect of our selves private. The very public nature of so much of our daily discourse has good points, to be sure. But there remains something attractive and compelling about not pouring ourselves completely into the common well of conversation. If we hold back something, something just for ourselves or those closest to us, part of what we keep is dignity. That’s not just for hounds, is it?