Jodie Rimmer's new project and the loyal pup who came to her rescue: 'She knew something was up'

The story of how her dog Abby came to her rescue isn't the only one dog-lover Jodie will be telling. The TV star is the narrator for an adorable new series, Dog Squad: Puppy School.

By Cloe Willetts
When vivacious television star Jodie Rimmer slipped and smashed her knee open on rocks while walking down Mount Albert in Auckland recently, it was a loyal furry friend that stopped to help.
Abby, a rescue dog Jodie adopted from the pound four years ago, raced to the Celebrity Treasure Island star's side to comfort her. Then the pooch used her athletic grey hound-huntaway cross frame to help an injured Jodie hobble back to the car.
"When I called Abby over, she just stood there while I held on to her and breathed through the pain," recalls the mum of sons Xavier, nine, and Theo, seven.
"She knew something was up even though I wasn't making much noise. Dogs are so intuitive and intelligent, and have a lot of healing energy."
It's not work for Jodie, who loves playing with the guide dog puppies on our shoot and the other four-legged talent on Dog Squad: Puppy School.
Her heart-warming canine story isn't the only one dog-lover Jodie will be telling. The former Shortland Street star is the narrator for an adorable new TVNZ 1 series, Dog Squad: Puppy School, a spin-off of the popular Dog Squad.
The programme will follow the journeys of puppies as they train to become members of the police and biosecurity, or as working mobility and guide dogs.
"It's a super-cute series where you get to know the puppies from the Dog Squad Puppy School and their trainers," enthuses Jodie, who also has a rottweiler/huntaway rescue dog, Summer, three.
Jodie loves the friendships she made on Celebrity Treasure Island.
"It's not easy and there's a lot of training they have to go through. Being part of a show that's bringing up dogs to change people's lives feels amazing."
While viewers can expect family-friendly fun from the show, which premieres on January 28, they'll also recognise Jodie's voice on the debut of The Bachelorette NZ on TVNZ 2.
She tells, "I'm having an absolute ball because it's completely addictive and exciting. Our Kiwi version is super refreshing and entertaining."

With the two shows going head to head at 7.30pm, Jodie's sons have already picked Dog Squad: Puppy School as their evening TV fix.
"I don't often get to be involved in a show that my kids can watch because usually it's not family appropriate," she laughs. "They thought I was so lucky to work on this and can't wait to see it."
Although Jodie has loved using her acting skills to narrate, she admits Celebrity Treasure Island still tops her on-air experiences.
"I loved my time on the island. I recently watched Australian Survivor and it reminded me of Celebrity Treasure Island so much," Jodie says.
"I got really into it because I knew what the people were going through. It was fascinating watching these massive Survivor heads and their strategies."
Since returning from shooting Celebrity Treasure Island in Fiji last year, she's kept close relationships with fellow castaways Shane Cameron, Lily McManus and Shannon Ryan, who video calls the actress from Los Angeles every fortnight.
"Celebrity Treasure Island was like manic camping with a bunch of new crazy flatmates!" jokes Jodie.
"It was a lot of fun and we laughed until we cried so many times."

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