Not very often do you run into someone that is working on the very same idea you are and you catch it in time to change your creation...often it is not caught until you exhibit in the same show and by then there is nothing that you can do about it. Also some animal posture is so common that you will run into the same positioning of an animal quite often.
I remember I had a favorite piece that was in miniature that I had had great luck with and I had decided to point it up or enlarge it so that it could be used in an outside area. That same week I happened to be at the foundry and looked over and there it was exactly same position and done by someone a lot more popular than me in the outside enlarged work, so there you go....a burned idea!
When it is maddening is when you hear from someone that someone has created a piece that is exactly like yours and your piece was so off the wall and far fetched that you wonder how in the world someone could have possibly had that exact idea in the exact same position of something that was not a common creature to do in the first place. Go figure!
This is a good place to put in the idea that if you are online in any site at all, you take the chance of someone copying your work, whether it be in Loveland, Colorado or China. Hopefully you will just have to keep your following of patrons and run faster (or keep beating the side of your truck and keeping the chickens in the air, thanks Jack).