Pouting, Rose turned to look at The Doctor, eyeing the tall and lanky figure dressed in a long brown trench coat, a white shirt under a blue pinstripe suit, topped with a purple tie, and finished off with his red high-top sneakers. “Why can’t we keep him? Look at him, he’s adorable.” She had to stop herself from stomping her foot to make her point.
The Doctor turned to stare at her with an incredulous look on his face, unable to comprehend why Rose wanted to keep the four-legged animal. “What? That?” he asked, pointing at the dog sitting at Rose’s feet. “A dog, a living dog, does not belong on the Tardis.”
Rose crouched down next to the dog to ruffle the fur at the dog’s neck. “But look at him, he’s even wearing a Santa’s hat. He’s all dressed up for Christmas.” Looking away from the dog, she looked up at The Doctor, silently pleading with him to let her keep the found animal.
“It’s not even a red Santa’s hat. What color is that? Is it teal? That doesn’t even make sense.” The Doctor cocked his head to the side, eyeing the dog dubiously.
“There’s no rule that states a Santa hat has to be red. They come in all colors,” Rose contradicted, rubbing a hand down the corgi’s back. She gave a soft giggle when the dog’s tongue lolled out of its head, making it look like the corgi was smiling at her.
“The dog has to belong to someone. It’s not like he just placed a Santa’s hat on its own head.”
Rosie’s mouth turned down into a grimace; she hadn’t thought about that. She had just been so excited over discovering the dog, wanting to keep it as a companion for them. “I hadn’t thought of that,” she conceded as she eyed the dog. “You probably belong to someone, don’t you?”
The corgi gave a soft bark as if it was agreeing with what Rose had just said.
“See, he just confirmed he belongs to someone. He’s probably just lost. Why don’t we see if we can’t reunite him with his family,” The Doctor suggested, offering his arm to Rose.
Linking her arm with The Doctor’s, Rose allowed him to lead her and the dog out of the Tardis and out onto the snow-dusted London sidewalk. “It’s a beautiful night,” The Doctor commented.
“It is,” Rose agreed watching the heat from her breath mix with the chill of the night air to create a white mist that soon disappeared from sight. She was thankful that she was wearing her jacket with the fur-trimmed hood zipped up, jeans, and her black leather boots with how chilly the night air was.
Within moments of stepping outside of the Tardis a young boy ran up to them, a black leather leash hanging from his right hand. “Max! There you are.” He dropped down to his knees, burying his face in the dog’s fur. “I was so worried about you.”
“I found him wandering down the street,” Rose said as she knelt down next to the boy and dog.
“You found him, Tim,” an older man called out, jogging up to the boy.
“They found Max, Dad.” Tim looked up at his dad and then back at Rose and The Doctor with an appreciative smile on his face.
“I can’t thank you enough for finding Max. Tim loves that dog,” the man stated, offering his hand to The Doctor.
“How did Max get away from you?” Rose questioned, running her fingers through the fur of the dog’s back and then stood, stepping back so the boy could pet his dog.
“I was about to clip his leash onto his collar but he decided to run from me.” Tim threw his arms around the dog’s neck and buried his face in the dog’s fur. “Don’t ever run away again.”
“You better secure that leash so it doesn’t happen again,” Tim’s dad advised.
“Yeah, you can’t run away,” Tim murmured before clipping the leash to the dog’s collar and standing up. “Bet he’s hungry, it’s past his dinner time.”
“We should probably get him home then. Thanks again for finding Max and keeping him safe.”
“Thank you,” Tim called out, giving a little wave as he walked away with his father, Max following at a short distance behind them.
The Doctor turned to see Rose watching the figures disappearing from sight, a sad smile on her face. “Would you care for a stroll before we return to the Tardis?” The Doctor offered his arm to Rose.
Forcing the sadness of losing a dog that wasn’t hers down, Rose smiled and then linked her arm with The Doctor’s. “Yeah, sure, you bet’cha.”