For as long as our modern civilization has existed, the human race has been accompanied in this journey by canine pals.
Over the course of the last several thousand years, after some wary wolf wandered to a primitive campfire and found an empathetic man or woman, we’ve been recreating the species in the image of what we strive for in a companion: Loyalty and love.
And throughout this lengthy history, there are stories of our dogs going above and beyond their station in life to keep there people safe. This week, one of the good ones was laid to rest after a harrowing encounter that saved the life of its owner.
A sad coda to the story of a life-saving dog—Eva has died from injuries sustained while protecting her owner from a mountain lion, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. “We said goodbye,” owner Erin Wilson wrote on a GoFundMe page for her dog’s vet bills. The Belgian shepherd survived the confrontation last month, but her condition slipped over the past week and she never recovered.
The event was terrifying.
Soon after Erin Wilson stopped at a picnic area along Highway 299 near the Northern California town of Big Bar on Monday afternoon and started walking her dog along a path toward the Trinity River, she was confronted by a mountain lion. The animal swiped at Wilson, who screamed—getting the attention of her 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, Eva, who was off leash and had been walking ahead of her, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. “She came running. And she hit that cat really hard,” Wilson, 24, tells the Sacramento Bee. The cougar turned on the 55-pound dog and the two started fighting. Then the mountain lion latched onto the dog’s head.
It took a helpful bystander, a baton, and some pepper spray to bring the violent ordeal to an end, and Eva had been recovering nicely for some time after the attack.
The aforementioned GoFundMe page was disabled after an outpouring of support that saw over $35,000 donated to Eva’s medical care.