Meet Melody Mierisch's Champion Labrador Retriever
NATCH C-ATCH "Sierra" MXS, MXJB, XF, TN-E, WV-O, TG-O, RN, CGC

Sierra earned her NADAC Agility Trial Champion (NATCH) title at the Zooming Agility Pups NADAC trial on August 14, 2011. I never thought Sierra would get this because NADAC runs emphasize speed and distance, but eventually, Sierra started gaining speed and then distance, especially distance. People started watching her do the chances (distance) runs because even if the obstacles she needed to go to were over 30 feet away, she listened and went to where she was asked to go. It became a bit of a challenge for her to zip around in the NADAC ring and then go back to AKC and start doing the tight turns and then return to NADAC.

Sierra earned her CPE Agility Trial Champion title (C-ATCH) in May 2012 at the RAT CPE trial. At the June 2012 CPE National Event, Sierra earned a Perfect 200 Score award or 9 out of 9 qualifying runs with no faults; only 11 dogs earned this award. She also earned awards for reserve High-In-Trial for 20" Veteran class and a Second Place for Overall Games class for 20" Veterans. Sierra wanted to gain enough points for her AKC Master Agility Championship title: MACH, but alas it was not to be - she needed less than 50 points.

These titles are so special for us because in January 2010, Sierra was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor in her rear thigh. We didn't know if she would live, much less walk or do agility. Well, she came through the operation with flying colors - but only one year later was diagnosed with a fibrous tumor. While this was not life-threatening, it was growing so fast, if we would have waited to remove it, it may have spread to other areas of her body and become inoperable, limiting her mobility. Luckily, again, she sailed through the operation like a trooper. Unfortunately, Sierra was diagnosed with disseminated histiocytic sarcoma on her 9th birthday in October 2012. Sierra immediately started on chemo and passed away 17 weeks later after putting up a valiant fight.

We were blessed to have our little labbie girl. She may not have been the fastest agility dog in the world, but she was right up there with the best of them in trying to please her handler. She enjoyed her runs so much, had no trouble relaxing in-between runs, and greeted all of Mom's agility friends (human and canine).

Thanks to Stephanie Rainwater, Sandy Cox, Sherry Banks, and Sandra Katzen for all the awesome agility training they gave Sierra (who learned it quickly) and her mom (who didn't, but still keeps trying) and to her Daddy who put up with all the weekends at agility trials. Sierra also enjoyed swimming, playing fetch, competing in rally, and hiking and cross-country skiing with Mom and Dad. Oh yeah - Sierra also liked her treats and toys, too!