#studiopet #studiocat or #studiodog are used by creatives sharing the pleasure they get from having a companion in their workplace. With remote working having become part of normal life, It's become acceptable for our pets to grace zoom calls, auditions, and social media. (posts with pets usually rank at least 50% higher)
In the corporate world too, it's also gained popularity with big companies like Uber and Zynga taking advantage of promoting and embracing pet-friendly work environments. Zynga, a game developer and the creators of such games as Farmville, (and Hit it Rich for which I have provided some voices), have a rooftop dog walk area, "barking lots", dog treats on hand, and company pet insurance. They even received the 2018 Dogs@work Dog Award for their outstanding contributions. (Medium.com article) Also, its name and logo came from co-founder, Marc Pincus’s American Bulldog, Zinga (a shortened form of the word Enzinga, Swahili for warrior princess). Rover keeps a top list of the best dog-friendly companies in the US with quite a few on the list being pet-related companies.
It's no surprise with so many voice artists working from home that voice-over pets have become an essential part of the studio kit.
I've said before that whilst it's not lonely (because of all the voices in my head!) voice-over can be very solitary. Having a pet around for a little chat or cuddle is sometimes a much-needed distraction and research has been done that shows they can help combat stress, anxiety, and depression. All in all, having an animal around seems to be beneficial to our mental wellbeing. Dogs and cats seem to be the most popular choices with hamsters, fish, and reptiles making the cut as well.
In our house, we have both a dog and a cat and plenty of wildlife outside. I enjoy a 'squirrel' moment or two being distracted by them playing chase on one of the trees outside. Our cat, Skittles, rarely comes into the studio because it is the favorite hangout for our dog, but when she does she is usually on top of the whisper room.
Isla Graceyn is our English Labrador Retriever Voiceover Studio Dog
who enjoys lounging most of the day in the studio with me while I am recording. She even got name-checked at the One Voice Awards in Dallas for her almost uncanny ability to remain quiet when I have a live session with a remote client! Technically she is a yellow lab, but she was bred so that she is mostly a light white color with some slightly darker yellow areas around her ears and tail. Her favorite spot is tucked under my desk near the window.
She is fairly well trained and relishes chasing her tail for attention and scaring the UPS man. Occasionally she wants to get in on the act and be heard. Most of her studio dog time is spent in a restful sleep or wanting a playful petting. Isla is currently working on her demo so that she can be booked for her amazing British dog sounds!