In the early years, there was another dog in Hudson who bore a striking resemblance to William. At the beginning, I only deduced his existence. A neighbor up the street once spoke almost approvingly of how I let William out in the early morning for a solo run through the neighborhood but didn't seem to hear me when I said, "I never do that." Once another neighbor called me to ask if William had gotten out because she had just seen him in her backyard. I assured her that William was lying at my feet and had been all morning. Then one afternoon, when we were walking in the 500 block of Union Street, a man stopped his car to ask if "that dog" had been running around loose earlier in the day. I assured him that the dog at the end of the leash I held never left my property unless he was tethered to me.
One night I had my own encounter with William's doppelganger. I was coming home from somewhere, and it was dark. As I pulled up to park in front of my house, I saw a black dog--the spitting image of William--in front of the house next door. Now I knew that dog was not William. I had left William safe inside a locked house, and there was no way he could have gotten out on his own. Still the remarkable similarity compelled me to pursue the dog up the street until the furtive way he moved convinced me this was not William.
Feeling foolish, I went back to my house and let myself in. There was William, lying on the couch, waiting for me to come home.