Brave Pooch Succumbs to Injuries After Saving Owner From…

There truly is nothing else like owning a dog.

These companion animals have been molded by human beings for millennia, for maybe as long as 10,000 years, and the loyalty and bravery that we’ve unlocked within these creatures is nothing short of miraculous.

This week we celebrate the life of just such an animal, who succumbed to injuries that were sustained while in the service of saving her owner’s life.

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 incident was a harrowing one, to say the least.

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.

The attack was only thwarted after the owner flagged down a bystander, and the pair used a baton and pepper spray to send the beast away.

A GoFundMe page for Eva’s vet bills was disabled after it reached $35,000+.