Recently, a furry companion nearly gave her life to save her beloved owner from an uncommon attack from a mountain lion while enjoying themselves on a hiking trail in remote Northern California.
Erin Wilson, 24, a server, had recently jumped out of her truck at the side of the road picnic area and went down a patch to Trinity River when she heard something in the brambles.
“I’m just walking down the slope and the dog had run ahead of me. And I turn around and there’s this cat just growling at me and it reaches up and it swipes at me,” she said. “At first, I was just like, Wait, what? And I think I screamed and I shouted for Eva and she came running.”
Eva, who belongs to Wilson, is a two-and-a-half-year-old Belgian Malinois. The breed is profoundly agile and very smart. The canines are bred for self-defense and are frequently utilized as police canines. If they don’t have work and space to roam, they feel cooped up, bored, or held back and can become unstable.
Eva’s owner, Wilson depicts the breed as a “German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine. They’re just driven dogs, a little crazy. If they don’t have something to do they will destroy their environment,” by digging or chewing.
They climbed the trail and eventually came across a mountain lion who looked thin and desperate. However, she wants to note that she believes the animal was hungry because of the dry conditions lately – she thinks it makes it tougher to survive and hunt for its preferred food – deer. That may be so, but at 115 pounds, Wilson would have been easy an easy meal for the lion.
Yet, in that frantic second, Eva’s canine senses kicked in, and she came racing to rescue her beloved owner and tackled the cougar. However, when the cougar got its jaws around Eva’s neck, the 55-pound canine was in a dire sticky situation.
“If you take a really close look at the anatomy of a lion’s skull, it is incredibly well adapted to create significant crushing power,” Foy said. “That is how they kill their prey. They typically would grasp on to the head or neck and simply crush that prey animal to death. That unfortunately, was what was happening to poor Eva the dog.”
After the underlying shock of being scratched by a mountain lion, Wilson began tossing rocks to get the feline to drop her furry companion.
“My fight mode kicked in and I started picking up rocks and I was bashing in its skull as hard as I could,” said Wilson, an avid outdoorswoman who once lived in Alaska. “I didn’t even feel it at the time. I knew to choke it, go for its eyes, hurt it.”
Then, at that point, she ran up to the riverbank to her truck, retrieved a crowbar, and flagged down a passing driver, Sharon Houston, for assistance. When Wilson returned, the cougar had hauled Eva a few yards into the shrubberies. Houston got a PVC pipe from her trunk, and together with Wilson, they yelled and hit the lion until it released the pup and retreated. Eva jumped up and ran into the street, and Wilson scooped her into the truck.
Eva’s jaw and skull were cracked, and her eye was swollen shut. She went through nearly a week of recuperating at the veterinary clinic. She didn’t require any medical procedures but could lose sight of her left eye.
There’s been a GoFundMe set up to help offset the vet bills, but the good news is that Eva returned home Thursday night to a brand new doggie bed along with new toys, which Wilson says she’ll most likely tear apart the moment her jaw is healed. The chef at Wilson’s café is saving an excellent hamburger cut for when Eva is well enough to enjoy it fully.
“I’m kind of blaming myself a bit about all this. Because of her, I’m unharmed and because of me, she has two fractures in her skull and she might be blind,” Wilson said, explaining that she’s still grappling with what might have happened to her beloved companion, an animal that had her own Instagram account, even before her heroic act.
Fish and Wildlife staff cleaned Wilson and Eva’s injuries for saliva tests, which affirmed that it was indeed a mountain lion assault. Game wardens and accomplices are now attempting to trap the animal.