A New Jersey girl is all smiles after finding the pooch she lost 18 months ago during superstorm Sandy in a shelter where she had gone to adopt another dog for her 10th birthday.

“I missed him,” Alexandra James said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”

Reckless vanished when Sandy damaged the Keansburg home Alexandra shared with her parents and two siblings. The only trace of the missing hound was his collar. It was caught on a fence that got mangled in the storm and allowed his escape.

[pullquote]

Alexandra’s father said the family spent months searching for Reckless, a brown and white terrier-pit bull mix.

“I was really worried,” Alexandra said.

The girl and her parents found Reckless Thursday. They spotted him in a cage at the Monmouth Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter in Eatontown. The family had gone to the shelter to find Alexandra a new dog to replace Reckless as a birthday present.

“Literally when we opened the double doors, the first cage we walk up to I thought ‘that looks like Reckless,’ ” Chuck James told the Asbury Park Press. “He was a little heavier and it’s been a little while, but then my wife saw the scar on his head and immediately we start tearing up and we found our dog.”

After many hugs and licks, Reckless went home with Alexandra on Friday. Her father didn’t mind paying the $180 adoption fee.

“They took care of the dog, microchipped him, he saw a vet regularly, and (they) sheltered him,” he told the Park Press. “It was like bailing my dog out of jail.”

Click for the story from the Asbury Park Press.