It had been cute. At the beginning. The first few times.
But then it became worrisome.
Every weekend, Peter would bounce his hand, wanting to play the children’s game. It was to decide who would go outside and clean up Tiggy's shit.
The first few times Peter lost, and gallantly went outside with a glove and a plastic bag.
And the third time, when she lost, she did it. As she was digging her fingers beneath the still warm soft poo, she wondered why she was doing this. Because she was falling in love with Peter? Because he came with a dog?
There was no sign that Tiggy was becoming their dog. In fact, there were moments when Grace felt Tiggy size her up.
She'd grown up with a dog and her father was adamant the dog knew its place in the pecking order. One evening, as she was taking the scraps from their dinner plates, her father demanded she place the bowl on the ground and keep her hand between the growling dog and the food.
She doesn't remember the dog’s name, but recalls the sound of her father's boot as it cracked a rib. The dog scuttled to the corner in pain. Grace knew that look.
Later, once her father was asleep in front of the telly, she took the bowl from the kitchen bench and took it to the dog.
As Grace bounced her fist up and down three times, Grace suddenly realised why she was falling in love with Peter. There was no pecking order. It was just two people and a dog whose shit needed cleaning.