SIOUX CITY | An 18-week-old beagle fittingly named after one of Santa Claus’ reindeer is this year’s Little Yellow Dog.

Dasher will go to the highest bidder at the 80th annual Little Yellow Dog Auction on Dec. 12 at the Ho-Chunk Centre.

Proceeds from the auction, sponsored by the Ancient and Effervescent Order of the Little Yellow Dog, a local civic group, will benefit the Journal’s Mr. Goodfellow Charity, a tradition that provides gifts and books to 8,000 underprivileged area children at Christmastime.

The puppy was donated by Dave Nixon, who formerly worked in the newsroom at KTIV, and his wife, Judy. 

Dave Nixon said he had been on the waiting list to donate a dog for 15 to 20 years and was thrilled to have his turn come up this year. He said he wanted to donate a puppy to celebrate the Goodfellow charity and continue his connection to something he's known for years. 

"It's part of my roots, listening to KSCJ around Christmastime when they would have the auction," he said. "I've appreciated what it's done for so many needy children in Siouxland.

"We're honored to do this," he added.

Dasher got his name from the way he bounces and bounds through snow. Kerry Johnson, hospital manager at Family Pet Hospital, 1909 Pierce St., said being in the snow flips on Dasher's energy switch.

“He has a blast the second you get him out there,” she said.

Beagles typically weigh between 33 and 44 pounds and stand 13 to 16 inches tall when fully grown. Johnson said beagles are an ideal family pet, regularly demonstrating affection, intelligence and enthusiasm.

Those who want to get a glimpse of the playful pup before the auction may visit Family Pet Hospital during daytime hours. 

Last year’s Little Yellow Dog, Finnegan, a Scottish terrier, was sold to Brad Smith, president of South Sioux City-based contractor D.A. Davis Co., for $15,000.

Each year since 1936, the Ancient and Effervescent Order of the Little Yellow Dog has auctioned a puppy to raise money for Mr. Goodfellow. The first pup, Skippy, was sold for $25.