What If Your Rescue Pet Has a Doppleganger?

Here’s a glamor shot of Stella — my sweet retriever/hound rescue dog. All photos by: Lindsey Watson/Petful


The term, literally meaning “double-doer” in German, has gained attention in recent years. Two strangers randomly share the same corner of the world with someone strikingly identical.

There’s a theory that humans have 7 doppelgängers somewhere. Coupled with real-world examples, like when these 2 identical people boarded the same flight to Ireland , it’s no wonder that finding your double has gained attention lately. But what about our lovable and unusual rescue dogs and their doppelgangers?

Your Rescue Dog Might Have a Doppelganger

Stella is our retriever/hound rescue, and she doesn’t look like your average pup. She has short, tan hair, a long corgi-like body and turned-out, stubby legs. Her ears are half-drawn, except when she’s walking and tucks them back.

Often people laugh when I explain our best guess about her breed. There’s something comically charming about her appearance.

We chose to adopt Stella because apart from being adorable, she was found at a local airport in Raleigh, North Carolina. My husband is a pilot. Clearly, this was my angle to prove Stella was meant for us. Luckily for all of us, it worked.

My husband and I enjoy having a mutt partly because she doesn’t look like any other designer dog or purebred. In some ways, her individuality makes her feel more like a human child. A few years ago, I started seeing lots of other dogs online that looked like Stella and wondered if she had a doppelganger (or maybe even 7?).

And this is Ivy, Stella’s awesome doppelganger. By: Sarah and Christian/Petful

Finding Stella’s Twin

I didn’t have to venture far, to Knoxville, Tennessee, to find Ivy. Her humans, Sarah and Christian, also rescued her. They believe her to be a golden/hound mix, just like Stella.

Although Ivy is about 80 pounds (Stella weighs in at nearly half the size), Ivy has the same short, tan hair, structured jawline and sweet eyes. Ivy was adopted from a shelter here in Knoxville.

Matching Looks and Personalities

The pair also share commonalities beyond their appearance. Both Stella and Ivy are extremely protective, loving and curious.

Stella, protector of the house, alerts us when any animal appears on TV. Ivy, too, has taken on the role of protector for both Sarah, who is now pregnant, and her pup brother, Huck.

When one of Ivy’s siblings was diagnosed with liver cancer, Sarah and Christian started up a dog treat company, Hound and Beagle, to help with some of their mounting vet bills.

Ivy serves as a valuable “taste-tester” for their treat business alongside her siblings. However, Sarah says Ivy is definitely the pickiest. “We know if Ivy doesn’t eat a treat, chances are the other dogs won’t either,” she explained.

While Stella doesn’t turn away food, she certainly has other princess preferences. She always sleeps on her plush blanket rather than the hardwood floor. And there will be no walking in the rain.

If they could talk, both Ivy and Stella would describe their perfect day as being outside chasing squirrels and birds. After a few hours of hounding prey, they also might enjoy some leisurely sunbathing together.

Is this Stella or Ivy? It’s Ivy, but you had to think about it, right? By Sarah and Christian/Petful

You Don’t Need to Clone Your Rescue

People often find a breed and stick with it. They enjoy their retriever’s zest for life or they love the squished face of their bulldog. Beyond breeds, my husband’s family even gave several family dogs the same name, “Boots,” (now systematically referred to as Boots 1, Boots 2, etc.).

Unlike purebreds, rescues are often unique looking and come with many questions. If you’ve grown attached to a certain mix, then finding your dog’s doppelganger might be an idea.

Maybe you and your family recently lost a pup and you’re looking to adopt a mirror image. Perhaps you once had great experience with a dog — they were incredibly healthy or loyal — and you hope that trait overlaps with another dog of the same mix.

When you have a dog who fits your family and lifestyle, it’s easy to understand that you want to find that again.

Hm … do you see a resemblance between these humans and dogs?:

How to Find Your Dog’s Doppelganger

  • Check your local shelters. If you have a hunch that your dog might be a Beagle mix, for example, check the local Beagle breed rescue groups for a match. Breed-specific rescue organizations oftentimes have mixes as well.
  • Use social media hashtags (#dogsofknoxville) to search for copies of your canine. Most cities have adopted their own hashtag to log the town’s most-loved pooches.
  • Visit social gathering places, like local parks, dog runs or meet-ups.

Whether you hope to give your dog their own It Takes Two moment or you’re in search of your next furbaby, it might be worthwhile to find your pup’s doppelganger.

* * *

Lindsey Watson is a freelance writer for hire specializing in blog posts related to food, travel and dog-centric lifestyles. When she’s not writing, she can be found in pursuit of donuts or strolling the nearest park with her 2 lovable rescue dogs, Boe and Stella.

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