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GIBSONVILLE, N.C. — Jack Russell terriers are known for being smart but there is one in Gibsonville that may be one of the smartest after he found his way home after being gone for eight years.

Jessica Reid got Junior on Christmas morning back in 2004 and he was the only thing on her Christmas list.

“I woke up to him licking my face. I was so happy, so happy I was crying,” remembers Jessica Reid, Junior’s owner.

For about a year, Junior fit right into the Reid family and their morning routine.

“We let him out to go potty before we left and when we went to let him back in he wasn’t there and we couldn’t find him and we looked and looked,” said Jessica.

Days turned into weeks then into months.

“We went through the neighborhood — put up signs everywhere we possibly could. We never got a call, not one call. It was heartbreaking,” said Crista Reid, Jessica’s mom.

“We just accepted that we were probably not going to ever see him again. There were a lot of times I would dream of him being back,” said Jessica.

On Tuesday, eight years later, Jessica’s dream came true. Crista and her youngest daughter were leaving their home when they saw a dog at the end of their driveway.

“She said, ‘Well that looks like Junior’ and I said ‘It couldn’t be it’s too long ago. You were so little how can you remember what he looks like?’ … ‘I’m telling you momma that’s Junior,'” said Crista. The dog was Junior. He was still wearing his collar and tags.

The Reid family is still trying to figure it all out, but whatever Junior’s story is his family is just happy it ended at home.

“I will always remember him coming home. My little miracle,” says Jessica.

The Reid family says if Junior is thinking about taking another eight year vacation it’s going to be a little tougher. They are keeping a very close eye on him.