CHRISTMAS has come early for one Ryedale family after their pet dog was found alive and well over two months since he went missing.

Owner Karen James, of High Hutton, said it was 'absolutely amazing' when they were reunited with Smudge who disappeared from their home in October.

The dog had been found in Leeds and traced to the James family thanks to his microchip.

"A man had seen Smudge looking sad and cold and taken him home to give him something to eat and clean him up," Karen said.

"The next day he was taken to the vets and although I think he was quite taken with Smudge, they found the microchip and were able to trace us."

Karen said she had never given up hope of finding Smudge, putting up hundreds of posters around the area as well as contacting a number of agencies, including the police, RSPCA and dog warden.

"Smudge just flew into my arms when he saw me and apart from sore paws and a bit of weight loss he seems to be fine, although he now jumps at loud noises and doesn't like to leave our sides," she added.

Karen said she urged other dog owners to get their own pets microchipped .

"Most people said I would never see Smudge again but I never gave up hope - it is like a Christmas miracle."