Erica Etchason BS, CPDT-KA

Owner, Canine Swim Coach and Dremel Coach

Erica Etchason has been involved in Canine Water Sports since 2006. Erica’s water training philosophy is to build joy around water, joy that will build confident, safe swimmers.  A structured water program allows dogs of all breeds, shapes, sizes, and experience to enjoy swimming.  Erica trains and competes in many venues, but her passion is in water work. Currently Erica has achieved over 40 Canine Water Sports merits with her three Newfoundland’s and a Water Dog and Water Rescue Dog Title from the Newfoundland Club of America with Molly.  Erica and her Newfoundland’s have earned Canine Water Sports merits in the Team Swim, Retrieve, Underwater, and Towing categories.  Erica and her dog Fozzie is the only team to earn a Certificate in AquaAgility from Canine Water Sports.  Erica has worked with many breeds both water loving and water challenged. Erica spent almost a decade teaching in-door pool classes at What A Good Dog in PA. She now owns and runs her business 4 Paws Adrift at Marty's Place Senior Dog Sanctuary where she teaches swim classes, and runs underwater treadmill therapy sessions.  Erica is also co-owner of an off-leash dog camp called Camp Unleashed.  Erica’s newest program is Dremel Like a Boss.  It is an online membership to coach owners to Dremel their dog’s nails.  Jibe, Erica’s current Newfoundland, works hard in her training videos and loves doing all the things.  Jibe sometimes has the pleasure of hanging out in the office waiting for a pet or for Erica to take her out for some training.

Jessica Alfarone, BS

General Manager, Canine Fitness Trainer & Swim/Hydrotherapy Coach

Jessica has spent over 10 years working with dogs through her dog walking and boarding business. She also spent many years voltunerring in animal rescue; volunteering as a canine companion/walker and adoption advocate as well as a foster mom at a local kill shelter in Staten Island. She first started with 4Paws as a client, with her dog, Dahbe, in search of some new fun ways to bond and train with her dog. When Dahbe was diagnosed with an ACL injury, Jessica dove head first into all things canine fitness and rehabIlitation in order to provide her dog with the best care. From her personal experience rehabbing her own dog, she grew passionate about alternative means to recovery for dogs with similar injuries as well as alternative means of relieving ailments and injuries such as obesity, arthritis and mobility. Jessica has since joined the 4Paws team and hopes to bring this same passion to other dogs and their owners.

In her spare time, Jessica enjoys hiking and exploring nature with her dog, Dahbe. Together they have participated in both agility and water sports/training, as well as some fitness training. She has a profound interest in canine fitness and nutrition and strives to keep learning more and bring more awareness to today's pet owners. She is currently in pursuit of her Canine Fitness Certification from Fenzi Dog Sports Academy which she plans to obtain by Summer 2022.  With this certification, she hopes to further benefit the dogs who participate in our programs and educate owners on how to keep their dogs fit, healthy and happy. 

Chrissy Poth BS, KPA-CTP

Swim/Hydrotherapy Coach, Trainer

Chrissy’s love for animals began in childhood as she grew up riding and caring for horses, pet sitting, and dog walking.  She earned her BS in Animal Science from Delaware Valley University, and then went on to train driving horses for the show circuit.  

Her first dog, Nici turned her love of animals into a passion. She found a local training club and immersed herself into all things dog training.  She quickly began assisting with group classes and learned unique skills and techniques from a variety of instructors.  Wanting to further expand her skills and knowledge, she enrolled in the Karen Pryor Academy of Dog Training and Behavior where she earned her KPA CTP.  She has since achieved the requirements to be an AKC Fit Dog Instructor, as well as an AKC Canine Good Citizen, S.T.A.R. Puppy, and Trick Dog Evaluator.

Chrissy’s training philosophy begins with the mentality that your dog is a member of the family.  She is passionate about helping people create relationships with their dogs, as well as committed to fear free training and always advocating for the dog.  All of her training methods are based in the science of positive reinforcement. 

Chrissy started at 4 Paws Adrift as a client when her dog Jack was just 14 weeks old. Committed to fear free training, body awareness, and patience, he is now a joyful swimmer who absolutely loves the water!  By following this approach, she hopes to share that same joy with her students.

In her spare time, she enjoys all things with her dog, Jack; whether playing dog sports together, finding new places to hike and kayak, or just spending time together for a good cuddle.  Life is just better with a dog!

 

 

Kristen Weingarten, BBA, CPDT-KA

Swim/Hydrotherapy Coach, Trainer

Have you ever seen a 9 year old kid volunteering to make bows for a groomer? Or sit quietly in an animal hospital socializing the stray kittens?  Well, that’s where it all started for Kristen.  Since Kristen was young, she did anything she could to spend time with animals, and that didn’t change as she grew up.  After receiving a BBA in Accounting from Pace University and landing a job in corporate America, Kristen began training at a major big box store.  That ignited a passion and in 2013, Kristen had opened up a private training business and began fostering dogs and puppies through a local rescue group.  She earned her CPDT-KA in 2017 and is a lifelong learner for all things animal-behavior, attending both APDT and IAABC conferences to continue learning the most effective ways to help owners and their pets.  The dog training business went on pause as Kristen grew her family, and now she is jumping back into all things dog related by joining the team at 4 Paws Adrift. 

Kristen’s training philosophy is centered around building a relationship between a human and their canine companion.  It’s a partnership and nurturing that bond is so important for anything they face in the future. 

In her spare time you can usually find Kristen one of two places:  cuddling a dog or a child, or out on an adventure with them. 

Beth Logue, BS, RN

Advisor

Beth has been involved with animals since childhood, first competing in hunter/jumpers and dressage with her horses, then switching to canine sports in 1997. She has successfully titled her dogs in USDAA, NADAC and AKC Agility, NAFA and U-FLI Flyball, Canine Water Sports & Barn Hunt.
 
With her former dogs, Kimber & Shadow, Beth was a member of Fur Fun Flyball Team. During that time, they were on the North American Flyball Association (NAFA) Regional Multibreed Champion Team 5 years in a row. With Fur Fun, Beth and her dogs participated in many demos including halftime shows for the Harlem Globetrotters and New York Jets. More recently, Beth is the co-captain of Happily Evfur After Flyball Team which earned the NAFA Regional Multibreed Championship in 2018. She is also the owner & captain of Merry Mutts Flyball U-FLI Team, which was one of the 2018 Top Ten Variety Teams in the US.
 
Her dogs Roo & Banzai were the first two dogs to ever earn an Apprentice Title in Canine Water Sports. Her dogs Roo, Banzai and Ricochet were also the first dogs to successfully complete several of the Shoreline Skills Tasks. She has earned over 60 Canine Water Sports Merits with her dogs thus far.
 
In addition to the dogs mentioned above, Beth has 2 young dogs, Geronimo & Vegas which are just beginning their sports careers in Flyball, Canine Water Sports & Barn Hunt.

Our Rehabilitation Veterinary Partners

We have two wonderful veterinarians who serve our community at our Allentown, NJ location every Tuesday. They are able to offer some additional services to help your dogs with pain management, and rehabilitation.

Lauren Blackson, DVM CCRP

Owner of Peak Performance Canine Rehabilitation & Agility

Lauren Blackson, DVM, CCRP pursued a bachelors degree in Animal Science at the University of Delaware, and then went on to complete her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida in 2018. While in veterinary school, Dr. Lauren also became a Certified Canine Rehab Practitioner (CCRP) through the University of Tennessee and a Certified Fear Free Practitioner. In 2019, she also completed her Walkin' Wheels Certification, enabling her to fit wheel chairs for disabled canines. In 2019, Dr. Lauren opened Peak Performance to combine her love for teaching dog agility with her passion of canine rehabilitation. While her main interest is in keeping the canine athlete fit and prepared for competition, she also enjoys working on improving pain management and quality of life in geriatric patients as well as the management and care of neurologic patients.

When not working in veterinary rehab, Lauren competes in and teaches dog agility.  Lauren has competed in multiple venues including AKC, USDAA, UKI, and CPE but mostly focuses on USDAA and UKI currently.  Lauren first began teaching agility as a volunteer assistant for the Academy of Dog Training and Agility (ADTA) in 2008.  In the last 10 years, Lauren has taught all levels of agility from foundation classes up through the masters level as well as private lessons.  Lauren's favorite part of teaching is being able to watch teams progress throughout their training and achieve their goals.  

Dr. Blackson will be treating dogs on the FIRST Tuesday of each month.  She will be offering services that include: 

  • Body work
  • Laser therapy
  • Take home exercises
  • Guidance on specific exercises to use when in our pool and under water treadmill will also be provided as needed

Melina Zimmerman DVM, DACVAA, CVPP, CVMA, CCRP

Rehabilitaion & Pain Management Veterinarian

Dr. Melina Zimmerman is a graduate of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. After completing a rotating internship, she went on to complete a residency in Anesthesiology. In addition to being a Diplomate of the College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia, Dr. Zimmerman has pursued advanced certifications and is a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner, Certified Veterinary Medical Acupuncturist, and a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner. Dr. Zimmerman loves helping all of her furry (and not furry!) patients and their people too!

Dr. Zimmerman will be treating dogs on three Tuesdays out of the month.  She will be offering services that include:

  • Pain management evaluation (with medication evaluation and home management plan)
  • Weight loss evaluation (with diet evaluation and exercise plan)
  • Physical rehabilitation evaluation (with home exercise plan)
  • Medical acupuncture
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Massage, myofascial therapy
  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Wheelchair and orthotic measurement and fitting
  • Guidance on specific exercises to use when in our pool and under water treadmill will also be provided as needed

Want to learn more about our water activities?

Click the button below for information on how to book an appointment at our facility.

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