I am a big-time animal lover and so that of course creeps into my writing.
What may also be of interest is the fact that my first fiction writing, when I was a young girl, was animal adventure stories. I didn’t write much. Instead, I would draw crude pictures and then in my head I could add the details of a particular scene. I was probably about four or five or so when I started writing these. I recall my grandmother giving me old appointment books for bygone years, as that was scrap paper that nobody cared about. I would draw floppy-eared dogs or whatever and the occasional tree or happy shining sun and from those little things and such humble beginnings, I would generate stories. I have forgotten them all and the old drawings are long gone.
But animal lover characters are in my fiction all the same.
Even Porthos himself acknowledges that most people like him, but it’s Alpha (Archer) who’s really in charge of his well-being.
Any time Archer needs to be away from the ship for a significant period of time, he makes sure to entrust the dog to someone. Usually this is Hoshi or Phlox. And while they care about Porthos, this seems to be simply more work for them. At least that’s how I’ve often seen it.
Probably my biggest animal lover character is Doug and Lili‘s eldest. As a child, in Fortune, Joss pays more attention to Cindy Morgan‘s Boston Terrier puppy, Fenway, than he does to Jia Sulu. Joss eventually follows his bliss and becomes a veterinarian.
In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, once the crew get dogs from the Phnom Penh live market, Karin (along with Captain Archer) is one of the people responsible for training the dogs. This includes following simple commands, herding and some protection for the ship’s herd of procul.
Brian (no last name)
During You Mixed-Up Siciliano, while Sheilagh is trying to figure out whether she wants to continue working for the Temporal Integrity Commission, she ends up jogging to a local park. She comes across a guy who’s taken his elderly poodle, Beau, out for some exercise. They exchange first names and talk a little, and he gives her some advice about whether to stay at her job. He further reveals that Beau is a retired show dog, although not a terribly successful one.
Concord‘s mistress of the Hayes Farm is not squeamish when it comes to slaughtering animals, including a veal calf. But when Malcolm drives the horse, Phoebe, Charlotte urges him to be gentle while slapping the reins. The hens are also permitted to retain two eggs in each clutch, although that is partly for the purpose of having more chickens to eat or sell.
Even overly driven Jay has the time to scratch Porthos behind the ears.
However, in The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment, Porthos points out that Jay would refer to him as Spike, an inside joke referring to Tripp Tucker‘s original nickname (never used on screen). Porthos believes that the reference is to another dog, from Jay’s past.
Deirdre Katzman‘s boyfriend is a dog trainer.
Porthos loves Lili, as she always smells like food and often has it and will share. During The Stilton Fulfillment, when she attempts to lure him into a Sick Bay crate for his own safety, she refers to steak. Porthos wisely knows she doesn’t have any, but goes in all the same, as he realizes things are dicey.
Porthos briefly refers to Josh throwing a ball for him to fetch. With a broken left arm, in The Stilton Fulfillment, it’s likely that ball-throwing will have to be put off for later.
When I was originally writing time travel stories, this role was considerably larger. The character was meant to be a kind of animals whisperer, able to calm and communicate with all manner of less-sentient beasts. Shaw would have the ability to ride, tame and lead most critters.
The way the stories worked out, I never got a chance to use this character, except for a brief reference when a time change gave Shaw a very different role. In The Point is Probably Moot, with the Federation turned into a theocracy, Shaw becomes Pope Gregory XXXII.
Shaw is also intended to be a descendant to Eriecho series characters Juliet Parker and Jack Shaw.
Crystal is a dog owner, with a Jack Russell Terrier named Petey.
Charlotte Hayes’s employees are all kind to animals, but Jim is probably the kindest, even kinder than his father, Benjamin. This does not prevent Jim from joking to Malcolm about the proper way to milk a cow.
Not every characteristic is Starfleet-oriented, not every preference is written in the stars. Some characters have rather down to earth interests in common, and being an animal lover is certainly one of those.