A woman who came face-to-face with a mountain lion saw her brave dog run to her rescue and put up a fierce fight to save her in Northern California.

Erin Wilson, 24, and her 2½-year-old Belgian Malinois named Eva, were out for an afternoon stroll Monday along the Trinity River when the incident took place.

Wilson was trying to unwind after a stressful day and had let Eva off her leash that day. The dog was a few yards ahead of her when the mountain lion lunged toward Wilson.

The wild cat scratched Wilson’s shoulder through her jacket and began growling, looking like it was ready to pounce.

“I yelled ‘Eva!’ and she came running,” Wilson told the Sacramento Bee. “And she hit that cat really hard.”

The 55-pound dog was no match for the mountain lion, but she still put up a fight.

“They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying,” Wilson added. “That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

As the struggle went on, Wilson tried to fight the cougar off her dog with sticks, rocks and also her fists. The mountain lion did not let go of Eva even as Wilson tried to choke the cat and gouge its eyes.

Wilson ran to get help and managed to flag down Sharon Houston, who happened to be driving in the area.

Armed with a four-foot length of PVC pipe and some pepper spray, Houston joined Wilson and ran back to the spot. The mountain lion had dragged Eva off the trail by this time.

Houston said she and Wilson began beating the cat until it let go of Eva.

“And that’s when I opened up the pepper spray and just started soaking it in the face until it started backing up,” she told the Sacramento Bee. “It was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. Please work. Please work. Please work.’”

The mountain lion retreated and ran away.

Eva was rushed to the vet with two fractures to her skull, a punctured sinus cavity and severe damage to the left eye.

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Wilson's husband Connor Kenny said in an email to SFGATE that Eva’s condition stabilized overnight. “We are hopeful she will pull through this," Kenny wrote. "She's a fighter, clearly.”

“I don’t think I will ever be able to live up to how amazing and loyal she is to me,” Wilson told the Sacramento Bee. She had also received treatment for her wounds, scratches, bruises and abrasions following the attack.

Wilson started a GoFundMe page to raise funds to help with Eva’s treatment and recovery.

“My dog is my hero and i owe her my life,” she wrote on the page.

Capt. Patrick Foy of the Department of Fish and Wildlife also believes Eva was able to ensure that Wilson did not suffer.

“I think it’s safe to assume that dog probably saved her life,” Foy told the Sacramento Bee.

Representative image Credit: Pixabay / ID 3031830