Can you guess the breed of dog that has made 3 appearances in Star Trek?
The Star Trek: Voyager series features a crew who gets lost in the delta quadrant (the other side of the galaxy) by an entity known as “The Keeper”. The captain of the Voyager is Captain Katherine Janeway. During the series Janeway makes several references to her dog, Mollie, who is an Irish Setter. In the beginning of the series (first episode, “Caretaker”) she convinced her fiance (Mark Johnson) to watch over Mollie while she is very pregnant, while acting reluctant he agrees to her and even comments that he’s already moved her bed and toys to his place.
Mollie is also mentioned later in the series (season 4, episode 15 – “Hunters”) the Voyager crew is able to use an ancient set of satellites in an attempt to communicate with Starfleet. Janeway gets word that Mollie gave birth to a litter of puppies (who would be 3-4 years by now). There are a few other episodes where Janeway holds up a photograph with Mollie in it. In the episode “Shattered” (season 7) Chakotay mentions her to gain Janeway’s trust. He mentions that she rescued Mollie from a pound on Taurus Seti 4 (and that she was the runt of the litter but Janeway thought she had spunk).
Irish Setters are not uncommon in the Star Trek universe. In season 3 of Voyager, episode “The Q and the Grey” Q tries to seduce Janeway in an attempt to bring order to the Continuum by having a child. One of the ways he attempts to seduce Janeway is with an Irish Setter puppy. Of course, his attempts at seduction are not successful.
In the 6th season of Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “True Q” the crew of the Enterprise find Amanda Rogers who later turns out to be a Q. Q (as in John de Lancie) comes to investigate the suspicions that the Continuum has. After the suspicions are confirmed Amanda requests that she be treated normally while she makes her decision on if she wants to continue as a human or as a Q. Amanda is conducting some experiments for Dr. Crusher and Q is babbling (like he always does) about how “boring” human life is. Crusher starts to talk over him and Q quickly turns her into a yapping Irish Setter (only to be turned back into Dr. Crusher by Amanda).
There is no obvious reason why Irish Setters were used in the series (3 significant times, I think that is more than any other breed). Maybe Gene Roddenberry had an appreciation to them even though it was known that he had a Bouvier des Flanders.