Sherri Davis can talk to the animals. It’s a skill that has helped her become one of Canada’s top dog trainers. See for yourself in the short video, above, as well as on Tuesday night in a special episode of the Citytv series Hudson & Rex.

The producers put a little extra in this episode which takes place in a whole other country. Police detective Charlie Hudson (John Reardon) and his K9 partner Rex (German Shepherd Diesel) depart from their home base in St. John’s and head to Saint Pierre and Miquelon. The tiny and little-known part of France sits 25 kms off the coast of Newfoundland.

I was along for the ride as several members of the cast and crew flew over to the islands last September for a day of filming. In Tuesday’s episode, titled, “The French Connection,” Charlie and Rex partner with a French detective (Carole Bianic) in order to investigate the death of a Parisian journalist. Aaron Ashmore (Killjoys) also guest stars on the episode.

On location in Saint Pierre with guest star and former Bramptonian Aaron Ashmore

Davis says Diesel’s vocabulary has increased a lot this years as the tasks he is asked to perform grow tricker by the week. He does not understand much french, however, aside from a few words he seemed to pick up while promoting sales of the series internationally in Monaco last spring.

With Diesel or one of his two stunt doubles in almost every scene in the series, the veteran animal trainer has been very busy over the past year plus on Hudson & Rex. I asked her on location about her very first pet, and here’s that story:

I was five years old and the deal was that my grandparents had dogs and my brother and myself, we really wanted one too. My brother Rob is older than me; he was eight at the time. He had made the finals in a hockey tournament and we made a deal with my mom and dad. if Rob scores – he was a stay at home defenceman so they weren’t taking that much of a chance – we can go get a dog right after the game.

Me and my brother were pretty tight growing up. We’re at his game, the whole family, and I’m screaming from the stands: “Rob, you have to do it!”

Sure enough, he took the puck back in his own end, skated up the ice, wound up and scored a goal.

After the game, he came right out of the dressing room and said, “Yea! We’re getting a dog!”

I learned a valuable lesson that day: if you make a promise, you keep it. We left the game, drove right to the humane society and got a dog. It was probably a Pomeranian Cross-Collie. We called her Sunny.

We had her home for a week and found out she was pregnant! We kept Sunny but we didn’t keep the other pups.

They called her Sunny but sounds like they got Cher. As a result, Davis has been talking to the animals ever since.


Read more about Davis and Diesel, as well as one of Canada’s other top TV dogs — Pretzel on In the Dark — in Tuesday’s Entertainment section of The Toronto Star.

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