It's a good day for Dogs!
ERIC WEGNER, NADD JUDGE
Owner & Head Coach
After working in the software industry for 30 years, Eric retired to play with dogs. His specialty is Big Dog Behavior. Quote: "It's amazing to watch their behaviors and emotions, everything a dog does has a purpose. It's fun to see how they make friendships and wrestle like kids. Coolwag is truely an amusement park for dogs."
Eric's childhood dog was named Punk (changed and shortened from Pumpkin), a German Shepherd who followed him everywhere, chased cars and lived to a ripe old age of 15. His first dog as an adult was Deeker who loved to swim, would fetch any stick thrown and was a long distance Frisbee catcher. His current dogs are Lambo, a Cane Corso and Pixie, a Border Collie. Both are DFL veterans.
Outside of work, Eric loves to read, uses lots of open source software, plays in a old men's hockey league, takes dog walks and bikes the trails of Bentonville. His family nickname is Wag.
HEATHER WEGNER, NADD JUDGE, AKC CGC EVALUATOR, CPDT-KA
Owner and Team Manager
Heather grew up in Garfield, AR and went to Rogers High School. Then graduated and immediately left to go to the big cities and travel the world as an IT Professional and Project Manager.
Growing up, she was always surrounded by pets and her favorite was Corky the Pug who would fly with her in a hand bag. Heather married Eric, returned to Arkansas and have 2 wonderful kids who work at Coolwag sometimes.
Heather has a B.S. in HR and Workforce Management from the UofA, has been training dogs for over 20 years and is a NADD Judge, AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator and holds the CPDT-KA Certification.
Heather is also a PETTech Pet CPR & First Aid Instructor who keeps our staff up-to-date on how to care for pets in emergency and first aid situations.
A California transplant who has been in Arkansas for 2 years and loving it. As an animal lover with a corporate background, she has found the purrrfect job as our Business Manager. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with the family.
She keeps Heather from going crazy and always knows where everything is!
MEGHAN, AKC CGC EVALUATOR
Trainer, Dog Handler & Lobby
Meghan was born and raised in Orange County California and knew she would be working with dogs by the age of nine when her family adopted their first dog, a German Shepherd mix named Loden. She graduated from Cal State University Northridge in 2014 and started to expose herself to multiple different training techniques with dogs and expanded her knowledge by working with other professional dog trainers and dog companies.
She is a behavioral modification specialist and has had great successes helping dogs be their best selves. Her flare and communication styles help us to remember how fun dog training is. Her passion and love for dogs is impossible not to see the moment you meet her (and when you see your furry friend wiggling over to greet her).
She is also an athlete and enjoys competition and is combining the two passions to train dog athletes!
Her attention to detail and successful dog and human training style are a great fit for CoolWag and Northwest Arkansas.
NICOLE, AKC CGC EVALUATOR
Trainer, Dog Handler & Lobby
Originally from Chicago, she has lived in NWA for the past 8 years. With over 20 years as a Management Professional. Working with animals is her true passion.
She has vast experience with service dog training and has over 10 years working with Canine Companions for Independence and Soldier ON Service Dogs. She also served on the Board of Directors for Spay Arkansas.
Nicole is a certified Professional Dog Trainer and is a AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. She will receive her CPDT-KA certification in the first quarter of 2021.
Nicole's kind calm and intentional personality soothes and catches the attention of any dog she encounters. She gives 110% in everything she takes on. She enjoys meeting new challenges.
After working with a dog and his/her family, she says there is nothing better than seeing the progress and breakthroughs in just one session.
Nichole loves working with pet dogs, service dogs and their people.
Manager & Team Captain
Desarae began working at Coolwag in 2018 as a Dog Handler and worked her way up to being Manager. She has taken Pet First Aid and CPR classes, always looking to improve the care of the dogs and loves the dogs as if they were her own. She has 4 dogs named Amara, Neveah, Lilly and Sugar.
Desarae goes above and beyond. An example is that she built a wheelchair for one of our guests who had no mobility in their hind legs. It worked! She is innovative and always willing to try something new to help a dog overcome shyness or learn how to play with manners. She is amazing with the dogs and humans and they all love her.
Senior Dog Handler
For the last 20 years, Angela has called Arkansas home. She has over 10 years experience working with animals. While not working at Coolwag, Mom and her have 4 dogs to keep them busy; Hidee, Edison, Chloe and Harper. They are also moving into a new home.