Like many dogs, Eva, a 2.5-year-old Belgian Malinois, is very loyal to her owner. Eva is so loyal, in fact, that when a much larger mountain lion attacked, the faithful pup risked her life to keep her human safe.
“I don’t think I will ever be able to live up to how amazing and loyal she is to me,” Eva’s owner, Erin Wilson, told the Sacramento Bee.
Eva and Wilson were attacked during a hike in Redding, California, where the big cat suddenly lunged at Eva’s owner on the trail. At just 55 pounds, Eva was no match for the larger animal, but the brave dog still raced to defend her owner. “I yelled ‘Eva!’ and she came running,” Wilson told the newspaper. “And she hit that cat really hard.”
Eva and the big cat briefly tussled, until the cougar bit down on Eva’s head and wouldn’t let go. “They fought for a couple of seconds, and then I heard her start crying,” said Wilson. She began hitting the cougar with rocks and sticks and even tried choking the animal and gouging its eyes, but nothing convinced the mountain lion to release its grip.
In desperation, Wilson raced back to her truck, where she grabbed a tire iron and flagged down a passerby bearing a PVC pipe and pepper spray. Together, the women raced back to fight off the mountain lion, who was dragging the injured dog off the trail and into the woods.
After the mountain lion finally released Eva and ran off, Wilson rushed Eva to the nearest animal hospital, which was still an hour away. Along the way, the badly injured dog experienced multiple seizures, leaving her owner to fear it might be too late.
Eva suffered from skull fractures, a punctured sinus, a badly damaged left eye, and many scratches, scrapes, and bruises, according to Wilson’s husband, Connor Kenny. But even despite her myriad wounds, vets thought Eva would survive. “We are hopeful she will pull through this,” Kenny told SFGATE. “She’s a fighter, clearly.”
Meanwhile, Wilson created a GoFundMe page to raise money for Eva’s medical bills, while giving credit where credit is due. “My dog is my hero,” Wilson wrote on her page, which quickly raised thousands of dollars for her canine hero. “And I owe her my life.”
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