When it’s raining cats and dogs, most of us think of a heavy storm where buckets of water seem to pour from the sky. For Lauren Collier, “reigning” cats and dogs takes on a whole other meteorologic meaning, and it comes in the form of pet talk, literally.
Pet Talk is the name of a sometimes wacky, always upbeat, educational television show about pets, animals, and the humans who love them. Airing in the southwestern Connecticut area, the show features hostess with the mostest Lauren Collier, who has been entertaining and informing the pet-loving masses for almost 13 years.
“I wanted a fun career, and I got it,” Lauren says. “As a news anchor, I lived and worked all across the country. I decided to go back to school and study another one of my passions: weather!” So how does a meteorologist make the leap from weather to pets? As luck would have it, the original host could not work it into her schedule. Lauren leapt at the opportunity, and 13 years later, the show is a resounding success.
For those not privy to the dog (and cat and reptile and any species in between) television show stylings of Pet Talk, yours truly can attest to the magic the show makes. I’ve been a guest several times on the show to dish dog product and pet-friendly travel segments. Since the show allows pets on set, my dog, Dexter, has become quite the wigglebutt-welcomed guest, too (occasionally leaving the set in search of treats offstage).
Pet adoption is a pivotal part of the show, which is what makes Pet Talk incredibly unique and inviting to its fans. Collier shares, “I personally attend as many fundraisers as I can, and I am very involved in giving back. I strive to be a powerful voice for kindness to animals.” Collier says the true heroes to her are the volunteers who work tirelessly to get animals adopted.
Memorable guests make the show sparkle, and Lauren recalls with fondness some of the indelible impressions many people (and of course, their pets) have made on air. Theme shows are particularly fun for her — and having worn a set of bunny ears and sparkly headset alongside Lauren, I can say that the show should kick off with “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” Cyndi Lauper’s anthemic girl power song of the ’80s.
“We once did an entire show at the Mystic Aquarium, where I was able to go into a tank with a beluga whale,” Collier recalls. “Most memorable guests are animals that get adopted [after airing on the show].”
During a taping with Atka the wolf, who first appeared on Pet Talk at 7 months old, memories of faux flowers being eaten ruminate around the set. “Funny as it was at the time, it was a good reminder that wolves do not necessarily make the best pets,” she says.
So what does rain and forecasting have to do with any of this? With her love of pets, Lauren loves the weather, too! She includes a “mutt-eorologist” and a “cat-eorologist” during her weather segments as the News 12 CT weekend meteorologist. Much to her surprise, viewers have participated by sending photos of an “equineologist,” “lizardologist,” and “bearded dragonologist,” to add to the show’s mix.
In terms of her dog-mom skills, Enoki is Collier’s 118 pounds of “trouble,” a sassy Bouvier Des Flandres. As of this writing, Collier is looking for a boyfriend to adopt for Enoki, who incidentally was named after a Japanese mushroom. All of the family’s pets have been given the name of a mushroom variety over the years; they include Shiitake, Chanterelle, Truffles, and Morel. “My mom and brother grow them,” she says.
Pet Talk is currently available on News 12 Connecticut, where viewers can see it on weekends. Future plans include programming on Optimum channel 612. If you don’t live in the catchment area, check out many of the excerpts on YouTube. (Here’s a recent clip featuring me!)
As for Lauren’s long-range forecast, the show will go on and the dogs will continue to take their seat on the wicker couch that graces the set. She’ll promote adoptions, dog-friendly travel destinations, and haute products for cool dogs. Sunny skies abound!