Last Thursday was actually a really good day. Heffner left about half way through, but Bess lay lengthwise along my legs with her back up against me the whole time. It was kind of nice to have something to focus on. I put my hand on her chest so that I could try to sort of sync up our breathing. We did have it for a short period of time. She is now quite consistently staying in the room with me for the whole duration of the session.
I have learned two things so far. 1) My mind is quite busy and it all too easily drifts off into a thought of some sort. I know that with time and practice, quieting the mind will become a little easier, but right now it's like constantly swatting at gnats buzzing around my head. 2) Caffeine is VERY bad for keeping the mind quiet. On Friday and then again today, I had some caffeine. I actually cut myself off a few weeks ago mostly because of my head cold and I wanted to keep myself hydrated. Then I decided to keep going with it because I was able to keep a clearer head. Well, I had a Coke (my primary vice other than the dogs) on Friday and today and it was ridiculous. Trying to keep my mind clear and just stay focused on my breathing was really difficult. I didn't feel like I accomplished a whole lot on either one of those sessions. Thankfully the days without caffeine went a lot better.
I'm looking forward to getting better at this and hopefully being able to more consistently work the dogs into it. We'll see.