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Riley loves day care.

The 5-year-old golden retriever loves it so much, he walked over a mile to get there. Unannounced.

The only problem was, Riley wasn’t supposed to be there.

He was supposed to be in the backyard of the Mostellers — where Tonia Mosteller left him when she went to run errands.

The great escape

The great escape happened last Friday in the small North Carolina town of Belmont.

Earlier that day, Mosteller and Riley ran into a group of dogs from the day care during their morning walk.

“Riley was crying because he loves to play, he loves happy dogs,” Mosteller said.

He whined all the way home.

So, later, when Mosteller went off on her run, Riley lifted the latch on the backyard gate.

And just like that — he was daycare-bound.

“We walk Riley everyday, typically through town, and sometimes we will stop by the day care,” Mosteller told CNN. “Riley knows his way around town.”

The happy resolution

At the Happy Dog Cafe, Riley is a familiar face. He’s been a regular there off and on for all his life.

“We noticed a dog sitting outside waiting to be let in,” owner Teresa McCarter said.

She knew the face well.

“Oh my gosh, it’s Riley,” she recalled exclaiming.

McCarter called the Mostellers to let them know about the doggie drop-in.

“Of course,” she said, “he stayed for free.”