It is a startling business, realising you are the spitting image of someone else.

The Ancient Egyptians would say it was Thoth at his schemes again.

One of the more important Egyptian gods, Thoth was amongst many things a settler of disputes, a magician and a scientist. He played a part – in one thread of legend – in coming to the aid of Helen of Troy. And all using a doppelganger, or ‘Ka’, as the Egyptians called them.

A great boat was driven by a storm into the mouth of the Nile. In it was Paris and his newly claimed wife, and a lot of treasure garnered from poor old Menelaus, King of Sparta.

Paris lied extravagantly to the Pharaoh about how he came by his wife; but others told Seti the truth. Helen had been kidnapped, and pined for her husband and family.

Thoth woke Helen up one night soon afterwards and brought forth a double of Helen: a ka, a ghostly likeness. And it was the doppelganger over which all the wars were fought, while Helen hid out in Egypt. Eventually, of course, Menelaus was reunited with his wife.

Doppelganger stories abound: like the English tourist who had a yen to see the fictional state of Ruritania.

The visitor turned out to be an almost identical likeness to the King.

Which was useful, because dastardly Prince Michael, the King’s brother, had the real king kidnapped and drugged the night before the coronation. If the King was not there for the coronation the whole reigning deal was off, and Michael got a shot at the Big Time.

And so the British tourist stepped into the breach.

The Prisoner of Zenda,Β by Anthony Hope,Β is a swashbuckling tale of derringdo and hopeless love, and I have been entertained many a night with the twists and turns of a plot which hinges on a double.

Tales of doubles have come to roost far closer to home, this week.

We had almost finished strolling round the County Show yesterday when we happened to take a turning into a lane we had not yet explored.

Regulations insisted that no dogs be brought by visitors; though stallholders seemed to harbour their fair share.

So Macaulay Shrewsday was safely tucked up on his cushion back in Shrewsday Mansions.

Why, then, was he looking furtive eating something in a small alcove in one of the tented stalls?

Phil did a double take and the whole family reached for their cameras. For never in Macaulay’s seven year lifetime have we ever seen his like. And yet here it sat: his doppelganger. Eating. As usual.

We ran the stallholder to ground . What’s his parentage? we gabbled almost incoherently.

He’s a she, she said.

And her parents were a King Charles spaniel and a miniature Schnauzer. Identical to Macaulay.

We showed her a picture of Mac, and deportment and reserve went out of the window. He’s the spitting image, she shouted happily to anyone who would listen.

This was Lola. Lola had cost Β£550. The lady’s friend had bought a similar puppy from the same shop. They never saw any parents.

Does yours pack his food away? the lady asked.

Does he, we said. He is a consummate food theif. Lola has recently been on a diet and lost manymanymany pounds because of her love of a good bowl of doggie chow.

We marvelled. We pinched ourselves. For this soul felt as if she should be coming home with us, she was so familiar. It was all we could do to tear ourselves away from her gentle moustachio’d face and walk away from the scene.

Because it felt for all the world as if we were leaving our dog behind.

Can you guess who is who?


64 thoughts on “Doggelganger

  1. So the County Show did turn out to be interesting for you. πŸ™‚ I’d like to think that the photos with the red bits are Lola. My piece of sleuth-giri.

  2. The ears are not quite the same – Lola’s are a bit lower-set. But then I’ve always said Mac’s ears are unique…

  3. Lola hasn’t got quite the determined look on her face as Mac nor his quizzical ears, she is a softer version, but then she is a girl. I wonder what they would have thought of each other?
    She is wearing ‘stop’ and he is wearing ‘go’

  4. How very cool to find Mac’s Ka, I’m sure it brightened your visit to the Fair considerably. I think the pics with red are Lola and master Mac remains his inimitable self.

  5. Separated at birth? πŸ™‚ I am in agreement with others who’ve noted the “softer” look; her ears are fuller, fluffy if you will, and Mac’s face has more buff color, too. But what an unexpected stumble-upon! Made the whole day worth it!

  6. I’m amazed! The resemblance is more than just strong similarity–doggleganger indeed! I can just imagine how you all stood speechless, that is before you began to snap photos and turn on the high energy of excitement. I wonder what Macaulay thought of the photos? Did his heart beat a little faster? D

  7. Wonderful that you had a chance to meet Lola! I do think that I see the difference between Mac and Lola . . . but who’s to say.

    Reminds me of other doppelgangers ~ from The Prince and the Pauper . . . to Merlin’s magic paving the way for a besotted gent to step into the matrimonial chambers of another. πŸ˜‰

  8. Similar story: Took my Annie (golden/lab mix) to the dog park one day. Got to talking to woman sitting near me. During the conversation, Annie approached and I reached to pet her. Oops. Wrong collar! The woman’s dog was Annie’s twin, distinguishable only by their collars, and each of us had mistaken reached to pet the wrong dog! Must be littermates. Nope. Different ages, from different parts of the country. But it sure freaked me out.

  9. They must meet each other – it would be love at first sight (or would that be too vein for words – haha – falling in love with ones doppelganger) – both are adorable and interchangeable πŸ™‚

  10. Gorgeous faces and markings on both the doggelgangers. They say we all have a twin somewhere. Years ago, someone said that to me. When I went to see, I couldn’t fathom why they thought there any resemblance. With Macaulay and Lola … there surely is. Loved the story.

  11. Mac’s the pooch with the green leash, but the resemblance is so close. Is Lola Mac’s age, or could they be siblings? Mac is not much of a smiler at the camera. He always strikes me to be a dog on a mission. Lola seemed very ready for her close-up — if I am not mistaking him for her or her for him!

  12. At first one is completely conflustered, but then it can be noticed that your Mac takes himself far more seriously and has a certain, um, ‘up-yours’ quality lacking in the lady.
    Have to rename them; Lola as Kate and Mac as Dupli-kate?

  13. Hi there – only recently found your page and I too have a dog who bears a lot more than a passing resemblance to Mac! Her name is Daisy, she’s cute, highly intelligent and loves her food! We always knew she was a cavalier King Charles spaniel cross but found out by sheer accident a few months ago that she’s crossed with mini schnauzer! And what a wonderful mix this is. With more of the likes of Mac and Daisy around, the world would be a happier place 😊. I read your stories with fascination and would love to know more about his background…..

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