Obituary: Sand Reed

November 25, 1946 – December 27, 2019

James Douglas “Sand” Reed left this world December 27, 2019.   He was born in Ensley, Alabama and was the youngest of ten children.  Sand moved to the Yampa Valley in 1983 from Georgia and Texas where he had been a carpenter and musician.  He loved both kinds of music Country and Western.  At an early age Sand realized that he had a talent for training dogs.  He was known in Steamboat for many years as “Dogman” and conducted training classes at Steamboat Vet Hospital. His no-nonsense approach always focused on training the human as well as the dog. During the late 80’s he hosted a call in radio show with John Larsen called dog Man Sez.  While the show helped pet owners, it was laced with some great old time humor as well. Sand also was a very talented singing cowboy for the Double Runner Sleigh Rides and was also a member of Danny and the Drifters.

He worked for Alpine Taxi as a driver, and later at the airport as a Greeter.  Sand always dressed like he was right out of the 1860’s which left a lasting impression on many visitors.  Sand was a natural entertainer and artist his whole life. His interest in the old west inspired his music and art.  His polished act of storytelling and singing old cowboy tunes allowed him to play gigs for beer and gas money from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to Mexico. Sand always gave 100% to his art and he never met a stranger along the way.  When you met Sand you knew you were in the presence of an original.  He could spin a tall tale like no other. He enjoyed watercolor painting,  sketching with lead, woodcarving, custom knife making, and doing beautiful leatherwork.  His artistic creations usually became gifts to friends and were highly treasured.   

Sand’s life played often like a country song, yet his triumphs were many.  His kindness and generosity in life were characteristic of a person that had little to lose and everything to gain.  Sand was a loyal friend to those who knew him over the years, and he always rode for the brand.  His great sense of humor and keen understanding of humans and animals were second to none. 

Sand loved the people and the spirit of Routt County. He will not be forgotten by the many dogs and people he encountered through the years.  A celebration of life will be announced in the Spring.

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