At the Wessex Vale Crematorium, on Bubb Lane, in the Southampton suburb of West End, mourners gathered on Friday, September 5, 2014, for a memorial service in honor of Leila Kathleen Moore. She had died the previous month, at the age of 87. The cover of the program for the service bore Moore’s picture, a faded color snapshot that shows her in middle age. There is a beaming smile on her face, but she is not looking at the camera. She is looking down upon the pair of tawny-eared, white-pawed Pembroke Welsh corgi puppies cradled in her arms.
The London newspapers made no mention of her death, but the weekly Dog World, out of Ashford, in Kent, published a substantial obituary—a sensitive and detailed account of Leila Moore’s six-decade-long career as a breeder of corgis. Though she lacked certain advantages (“Widowed sadly young, Leila was always limited in the number of shows she could attend … ”), Moore acquired good stock in the 1950s from celebrated breeders such as Bunny Thornycroft. With these dogs, Moore built “an easily recognizable line of a type which she would stick to,” involving “a clean cut outline, level topline, true and strong hindquarters,” and the rich red color of the coat on her first great champion, Mist, who became her kennel’s foundation bitch.