Hello from a fellow PT blogger! I wrote a piece for PT called "How a Pet Can Sharpen Your Mindfulness Skills." In it, I write about several ways in which I use my hound dog to enhance my mindfulness skills. I agree that mindfulness is particularly helpful during the holidays to help with stress. Using his bark as a mindfulness bell is one of my regular practices! If anyone would like to see my piece, I'll put the link in here:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/turning-straw-gold/201107/how-pet-can-sharpen-your-mindfulness-skills

All my best,
Toni