The making of a weather dog

The making of a weather dog

You might recognize this handsome weather dog from his regular appearances on Global News. Here’s the never-before-told story of how he got his start!

Dogs are renowned for their contented, easy-going nature. Rain or shine, they stand by our sides, just happy to be alive. But one Toronto-based pup named Storm was destined for more. This weather dog, believe it or not, spends his days reporting on the rain and shine – and he’s charming fans across Canada.

Seven years ago, Global News Meteorologist Anthony Farnell stumbled upon a kijiji ad for Miniature Golden Doodle puppies. He wasn’t planning on inviting a canine companion into his home, but something told him to pay the breeder a visit. “I didn’t tell my wife I was going to check them out,” says Anthony, who fell in love with one of the puppies the moment he laid eyes on him. “I realized that, a) It was a mistake not letting my wife know and b) I had to go home with this dog.” What he didn’t realize, was that this dog would become one of the most recognized canines in the country.

Anthony and his family brought their new puppy home a few weeks later. But as a weatherman, taking time off was difficult. Knowing that their new furry family member couldn’t be alone for too long by himself, Anthony started bringing him to work. Instantly, he was “one of the crew”. They conducted an online poll inviting Global News viewers to help pick a name, and “Storm” won by a landslide. To announce the winning moniker, they featured Storm in a weather broadcast alongside Anthony – his first television debut.

But as it turned out, one taste of the limelight wasn’t enough for Storm. Once he had adjusted to life on set, Anthony started letting him roam around off-leash. He was well-trained, so he was never any trouble – until he decided to pop his head out from behind the news desk during a live broadcast. “Luckily, it was a feel good story,” recounts Anthony. “That clip actually went viral around the world and set things in motion”.

Due to popular demand, the network decided to make Storm a regular feature on Global News. He started appearing alongside Anthony when he forecasted the weather, and the viewers loved it. “He helps out with the weather and he walks in front of my weather maps,” says Anthony. “It’s just great to see him know what he is doing, especially with the cameras. You can’t teach that, it’s just natural talent!”

Last year, Global launched their “dog walking forecast” – a weather segment specifically for pet parents. With Storm’s help, Anthony announces the best time of day to take your pup on a stroll, helping viewers avoid the rain and snow.  While Storm doesn’t appear on the air every day (even dogs need time off!), he makes frequent appearances to appease his fans.

Luckily, Storm’s well-behaved nature makes him a perfect fit for the spotlight. According to Anthony, his wife, Sam – and a lot of positive reinforcement – are to thank for this success. “She’s read many dog books and sees herself as sort of a ‘dog whisperer’,” says Anthony. “It helps when you have a dog that’s motivated by food because it’s a lot easier to get them to listen.”

And somehow, on top of their busy profession and plenty of family time, Storm and Anthony find time to give back. Together, they visit schools to meet with kids, volunteer at charity events, and attend pet expos. For the past few years, Anthony has also taken part in the Walk to End Canine Cancer – a cause he feels very passionate about.

As a result of his busy work and social life, Storm gets recognized everywhere he goes – even when Anthony isn’t there! He’s also received a lot of positive comments about the dog walking forecast on his social media pages (see below). You’d think all the fame would go to his head, but Storm has remained his carefree self. Underneath it all, he’s just a happy dog who loves his job, his family, and the great outdoors – no matter the weather!

Find Storm online:

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Emily Watson is a staff writer for Animal Wellness Magazine and Canadian Dogs Annual. She is a certified yoga and medical Qi Gong instructor and has been writing — creatively and otherwise — for ten years. Off the mat and away from the keyboard, Emily can be found hiking, camping and travelling with her wife and fur babies.