Animal Doctor USA

She was well known at the Westminster Kennel Club show for her ability to communicate with dogs. “I just understand who they are,” she said.

Mary Bloom in action at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in 2010. She photographed the show for 21 years.
Mary Bloom in action at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in 2010. She photographed the show for 21 years. Credit... Julie Glassberg for The New York Times

Richard Sandomir

Oct. 13, 2021

Mary Bloom, a champion of animals who as a staff photographer for the Westminster Kennel Club shot its annual dog show with a careful eye to illustrating the bond between dogs and the handlers who lead them around the judging rings, died on Sept. 28 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. She was 81.

Her nephew Robert McLoughlin said the cause was gall bladder cancer.

Ms. Bloom was a familiar sight at Westminster. With her brown curls framing her face, she knelt and crawled on legs weakened by neuropathy to find the right pictures of breed winners on the floor at Madison Square Garden. Over her 21 years with the show, beginning in 1995, she sometimes jostled and shouted her way through a scrum of photographers to get prime position for a shot, and she admonished handlers if they misbehaved.