Hela of Beaulieu
A Lady of Character
by Evelyn Forsyth-Forrest
Hela came to us from her native land when she was five months old. At that time, the only other canine inmate of the household was a very small Yorkshire Terrier who took strong exception to the introduction of another dog and bullied her unmercifully. I was afraid that as Hela got older, she might retaliate, but she continued to turn the other cheek and "The Weasle" took full advantage of her forbearance.
Pedigree of Hela of Beaulieu
One day, we were walking along the shore, Hela was well down a rabbit hole and Weasle questing ahead, when suddenly, without a sound, a pack of ten Border Terriers emerged from the gorse, and perceiving Weasle made a combined charge. The poor little thing, terrified out of her wits, took to her legs and dashed into the sea. Hela, hearing the commotion, took in the situation and hackles up, charged the enemy who fled with fur flying. She then dashed into the sea, seized Weasle and brought her ashore. The wind was completely out of her sails, and from then on she became Hela's devoted disciple, a firm friendship developing between them.
Hela was very protective to all small animals and "took under her wing" baby chickens and small birds which had fallen from their nests. She had a passion for kittens and would steal them from their mothers and carry them about. One evening, she knocked on the door and arrived complete with a kitten which she proceeded to play with. Presently, the kitten crawled into the hearth and began to investigate. Hela always had a fear of fire and did her best to persuade me to move her small friend to safety. As I was about to do so, a blazing log rolled out and before I got to the rescue, Hela had seized the kitten and carried it to the furthest corner of the room, where she inspected it to see that no harm had been done.
On one occasion, she had been away with me and when we returned, instead of greeting her friends with her usual enthusiasm, she brushed them aside and dashed upstairs, re-appearing with insistent requests that I should follow her to the door of a spare room. When opened, she went straight to the cupboard where I found a very hungry cat and four kittens whose presence had gone unnoticed, as the room had been shut up for several days. How Hela instantly sensed they were there, was a mystery.
I first became aware of her ability as a worker, when I took her to Wales when she was about a year old. Those who know Devil's Bridge will agree with George Borrow that it is "one of the most remarkable localities in the world". An immense and almost sheer, rugged gorge rises from the river and an occasional sheep is the only sign of life.
We had made the perilous descent and were viewing one of the falls, when Hela disappeared. Away up, I saw a small figure making its way to a ledge, some six feet below the top of the ravine. On this was a lamb and above, its frenzied mother, urging it to return to safety. Somehow, Hela reached it and somehow she pushed and persuaded it until it could get a footing and struggle over the edge of the cliff back to safety. This done, she careered down the precipice, without missing a foot. From then on, she became an invaluable help with all livestock and was better than the proverbial six men and a boy.
The instances of her intelligence and ability were numerous and a constant source of surprise. In the 1955 Handbook, there is an article by Per Erik Wallin on Corgis in Sweden. Hela's grand-daughter Buckler's Megan was the first Swedish Corgi champion and he describes her as "a fabulous bitch". So too was Hela!
From Welsh Corgi League Handbook 1955
Evelyn Forsyth-Forrest bred Pembroke Corgis with the prefix Helarian and Hela was her first Corgi. EF-F was a well-known show judge of the breed and also wrote a book Welsh Corgis, published in 1955 by Ernest Benn Limited, London.