SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Canines have taken over Sunday’s episode of Jessop’s Journal, which just two shows since its debut, has already made its name for positive, powerful, and inspirational stories.

In this week’s case, the stories that fill Doug Jessop’s signature leather-bound journal could probably be better referred to as “paw-sitive.”

Three folks with varying backgrounds, but with a common love for dogs, share how the four-legged friends had impacted them, helped their careers, and even built on their passions.

Building a connection with your dog

Joe Dickinson and Amelia Earnhardt (the dog, not the famous female pilot) discuss the relationship formed during dog training and pet ownership.

Joe Dickinson, a professional dog trainer, along with her fuzzy friend, a border collie named Amelia, joins Doug to offer tips to current and future dog owners.

For those who already have a dog, Dickinson gave three tips to strengthen their connection with their pet and improve its behavior.

  1. Stop talking to your dog. Body language is much better.
  2. Stay consistent in the caretaking routine.
  3. Have expectations for your dog.

Families who are looking for a new pet to add to the home would also benefit from Dickinson’s tips on selecting a dog. In a funnel-like approach, she recommends starting by deciding on what kind of dog they find pleasing or interesting, considering which breed would be a good fit for the future owner’s lifestyle, and then making the big decision after getting to know the dog’s personality.

I would love it. If every person learned that connection that I have with my dogs. It’s pretty emotional for me. These animals can take you through a lot in life. And if I can share that with everybody that I meet, get a dog.

Joe Dickinson, on how she wants to leave her mark

Make way partner, dogs can sing too

Chris Petersen and his dog, Syd, belt out – or bark out – in song while riding in the truck together.

Country music singer and songwriter Chris Petersen, who performs an original song on Jessop’s Jukebox, has found a delightful duet partner in his dog, Syd. While singing in his truck a few years ago, Petersen was surprised and thrilled to hear Syd, who was sitting in the passenger seat, join him in song, A video of the human-canine duo singing along to “Look At You Girl” by Chris LeDouxwas posted on Facebook and quickly reached 2 million views. From there, an even bigger audience on national television was given a show by Petersen and Syd.

“My girlfriend sent that to the producers of America’s Got Talent, and they contacted us and said, ‘Hey, we’d like to see some more videos of you and your dog singing,’” Petersen recalls. “So over a period of a few months, we sent them videos of different songs. And anyway, I ended up getting on the show with my dog.”

I kind of feel like, like this book, I don’t want to just leave one mark, I want to leave a whole bunch of marks. And that being said, that means ,we can touch the lives of different people. And if you can leave your mark on each different person, you’re going to have a ripple effect on the world. And I’d like to do that through one through music, be able to relate and connect and tell stories and make people feel joy.

Chris Petersen, on how he wants to leave a mark

Marine-loving dog barks orders, guards toys

Gunny Monster, wearing his custom made Marines uniform, poses with a child as part of his duties as spokesdog for the Toys for Tots program.

Troy Grant, a former United States Marine, found a faithful recruit in his dog, Gunny Monster. For years, Gunny served as the “spokesdog” for the local Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program, dressed to the nines in an authentic Marines uniform, made from one of Grant’s old suits. When Gunny made his public debut in his uniform at the Best Dressed Dog Competition at the 2011 Soldier Hollow Classic, he received a raucous round of applause from onlookers.

“When we walked out in front of the crowd, the crowd yelled loud enough that the dogs on the mountain started barking in return,” Grant remembers fondly.

Dressed in his uniform and standing at attention, guarding the precious toy donations, Gunny was a beloved mascot for the program. However, due to illness, he has since had to retire and rest from his duties.

The lessons that Grant learned along with Gunny, however, continue to be impactful.

The advice I give somebody is to pick a charity, just get out and help and get involved. You might be surprised where it takes you.

Troy Grant, on how he and Gunny Monster want to leave their mark

Jessop’s Journal airs each Sunday at 10 a.m. on ABC4 Utah.