Last week Mike and I were at the Bottle Shop, our neighborhood craft beer store that also has a tiny bar, when I locked eyes with a dog.

I was returning to my seat from the bathroom when I spotted the dog, a pitbull/husky mix. His owner, who looked like the character Ray from the HBO series “Girls,” was standing near the bar drinking a beer.

“Is your dog friendly?” I asked.

“Very,” he said.

I crouched down and petted him and he licked my face. The Bottle Shop has dog treats on the counter, and the guy handed me a few treats to give him. He gobbled them up and looked eager for more. I made a new friend.

“My dog just passed away last month,” I said as I stood up. “It feels good to pet a dog again.”

The guy offered his condolences and I thanked him, then I joined Mike back at the bar. I told him what had just happened and the tears started rolling from my eyes.

It’s been five weeks, it’s now March, and I miss her terribly. I can’t even really think about her too much or too often or I’m a mess, going from perfectly fine to ugly-crying in less than 60 seconds.

Combined with that, I switched to a different job within my company a few weeks ago and it’s been challenging and stressful, so things have been tough overall.

But, I’m focusing on being grateful for this opportunity I’ve been given. And being grateful for having had Sassy in my life for as long as I did. And being grateful for Mike, my smart as hell, gorgeous, all-around amazing husband, who just came home with a surprise bagel for me. I’ve also been meditating, which really helps.

No matter what the circumstances, I believe there’s always something good to be found, and by focusing on that, you can make the good expand. That’s been my experience, anyway. I know things will get easier on all fronts. It just takes time.

A few minutes after my encounter with the dog at The Bottle Shop, his human knocked over a beer. I happened to be walking by as he was trying to attend to that.

He spotted me and asked, “Can you watch him for a few minutes?”

I agreed, and he handed me his leash.

“His name is Bootsie,” he said.

His leash was much sturdier than Sassy’s was, and attached to it was a poop bag holder in the shape of a white dog bone. It had been a month since I held a leash. I wrapped it around my wrist and sat on the floor with him.

I asked him to sit. He sat. I gave him a treat. He crunched it up and licked my face.

And through my tears, I smiled.

If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment. – Henry David Thoreau