Rosmarie Blood, a professional dog breeder and judge who was president of the Sacramento Kennel Club, died Feb. 21 of congestive heart failure, her family said. She was 89.
Mrs. Blood was active in the community as president of the Sacramento Kennel Club for many years and a member of the Sacramento Council of Dog Clubs. She was widely known on the dog-show circuit as an American Kennel Club judge and an expert on working and nonsporting breeds.
She bred and showed bichon frisés for many years and was active in Northern California and national bichon frisé clubs. She also owned vizslas that she volunteered for tracking and search-and-rescue operations, and she was instrumental in starting Lend a Heart, a Sacramento pet therapy group.
“She took her beautiful, well-behaved bichon frisés into hospitals and nursing homes to be petted,” said her daughter Chris Malan. “She was a nurse, and she understood how lifting people’s spirits was good for their health.”
Mrs. Blood began training dogs at 12 with her stepfather in her native Switzerland. During World War II, they worked with boxers that passed through enemy lines to carry messages to Allied troops, her family said.
Rosmarie Greuter was born Nov. 23, 1924, in Zurich. The daughter of a dressmaker and stepdaughter of a butcher, she grew up in a close but extended family that shared vacations in the Alps. She left home at 21 to immigrate to the United States and worked as a nanny for a Sonoma County family.
She married William Dal Molin in 1950 and had four children, including a son, Mark, who died at 6. The marriage ended in divorce, and at 45 she enrolled at Santa Rosa Junior College to learn nursing. She became a registered nurse after additional study at College of Marin and worked at Santa Rosa Memorial College.
She married businessman James Blood in 1972 and bred Great Danes in Sonoma County. They moved to Sacramento, and she worked for several years at Methodist Hospital before retiring.
An Arden Park resident, Mrs. Blood kept a beautiful home and enjoyed hosting family gatherings. She was a superb cook who excelled at whipping up hearty meals with few ingredients.
“Every holiday and special occasion, we couldn’t wait to see what her table would look like, and next would come the presentation of food,” said her daughter Karen Alves. “The greatest thing she handed off to her children was our ability to cook and to appreciate farm-fresh food and how to present it.”
Mrs. Blood’s husband died earlier. In addition to Malan and Alves, she is survived by another daughter, Gale Eversole; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. Information about a celebration of her life is pending.