Rick’s Star Trek Blog #5: Why Admiral Archer’s “Prized Beagle” May Have Been Porthos

Contributor: Rick McGimpsey

5

As some of you remember, in the alternate timeline (as seen in the 2009 Star Trek movie) Montgomery Scott was reassigned to Delta Vega as disciplinary action when he tested his theories on transwarp beaming on Admiral Jonathan Archer’s prized beagle.
In the TV series, Star Trek: Enterprise, we see Captain Archer has a pet beagle aboard named Porthos. However, the 2009 movie never clarified if the beagle Scotty turned into a test subject was the same dog. Fans have argued that since the NX-1 Enterprise began its mission in 2150 and the year Star Trek (2009) took place would roughly be about a hundred years later Porthos surely would have been dead by then.
Nevertheless, as my title suggests, I am going to point out how I believe that the unfortunate dog-turned-guinea pig was indeed the same beagle.

My chief argument for why I think he was Porthos is that in the 22nd and 23rd centuries medical science had improved so that average lifespans had been increased. It was not uncommon in Star Trek for humans to reach the age of 150 or more. Of course, I do admit, that we are talking about a dog here and thus Porthos would still have a shorter lifespan than humans; but I think it is not impossible that veterinary medicine would have similar improvements in the future. Just as human medicine has made life longer and more comfortable I think it not unreasonable to believe that a dog from the 22nd and 23rd century would also have a lifespan much longer than a contemporary dog.
The question could be asked, I suppose, would people in the future value the lives of their pets as much as they do that of sentient species? At least enough to make it so dogs like Porthos could live to be over 100? I, for my part, believe so.
In the future originally conceived by Gene Roddenberry humanity had overcome war and disease living in a peaceful environment where resources were refocused for bettering humanity morally, physically, and intellectually. Economics changed drastically where money was no longer existent and human greed and the need for an aggressive military were no longer commonplace. Humanity became more humane.
In a future where humans improved in a such a way I think it would be very likely that people would put extra effort into making sure their pets lived long, comfortable lives that hold as much value and care as their own.
If a human like Jonathan Archer can live to be over a hundred and forty years old than I am sure Porthos could (with excellent care and a healthy diet) live to be over a hundred years old too.

That leaves us with only a final problem. If the beagle mentioned in Star Trek (2009) is, indeed, Porthos then his fate is sadly uncertain. We never did find out if Scotty successfully got Porthos to resequence at his destination. It is possible that in the 23rd century Porthos was fated to become a collection of molecules stuck in a pattern buffer until the sequence decayed. Terrible way for an innocent beagle to go.

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