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Our global team of independent Certified Partnership Coaches are trained in Kathy’s partnership lifestyle method to work locally with dog families. Click on a coach to learn more.
Coach Ana sitting with her dog Flo

Ana Plestenjak




Slovene, English, German

I spent my childhood surrounded by dogs. Life was easy. Our dogs were never trained, but they were all good companions, great friends, my best trustees and oh my, we had fun! I thought that’s how life with a dog should be.

Years later Flo came to my life. She was supposed to be my perfect dog and we were supposed to do everything together. She was extremely smart, but also extremely sensitive girl. Instead of my “perfect” companion, she became my “difficult” dog. She challenged me in different ways with her reactivity and gave me lots of gray hair. Soon, there was not much joy in our lives. I was desperately trying to fix her, but she was desperately trying to show me I was wrong in everything I did. We tried different ways of dog training (good to know, but not always good to practice), different dog sports (and fell in love with herding) and finally and most importantly we discovered BPA and partnership lifestyle.

Kathy’s program not only completely changed our relationship and made our life happier on many levels. I learned how to be patient, how to listen, how to stay calm and I became more inventive while focusing on the life we have instead of on life we don’t have (yet). And guess what? While taking the pressure of both of us, I also remembered how to look at the brighter side again. I finally let go of control and allowed Flo to start fulfilling her mission: to show me the way to see the golden light of joy and happiness again.

We humans are complicated creatures. We add so much drama into our lives that we forget about the golden light. We only see glimpses of it sometimes. Only rarely we truly embrace it, even though we are aiming for it our whole lives. When we take the drama away, the beauty that is always there reveals itself and everything becomes easier and shinier.

I believe dogs can be our best teachers on this journey if only we take time and listen. They know the golden light is always there. In fact, I believe their mission in life is to remind us of it. They would do everything to help us remember: whining, barking, running away, biting, … still, we don’t get it. Kathy says: “Dogs are not giving us a hard time they are having a hard time”. What is more, they are not just having “hard time” per se; it is us that are giving them a very hard time and often undermine them to fulfill their mission to help us. Let’s face it! We are not the easiest students. We think we know better and we focus on the “problems they cause us” instead of what they are saying and we miss the joyful part of life.

Learning that drama does not necessarily have to be a part of our lives, made me wish to share this knowledge with others. We don’t have to fix others (dogs or people) to be happy. Kathy and her program gave me a chance to embrace that golden light more fully and I want to share this with others. Being a field-archaeologist who works on the digs most of the time gave me a solid foundation for knowing how to teach and lead others to reach the common goal. Having a “difficult” dog gave me a chance to become more patient, supportive without judgement and to know how to gently guide others back to the golden light.

So, it you would like to learn about it with me, I can not guarantee immediate results. But I can guarantee we’ll have fun and we’ll laugh a lot and maybe even cry in the process. An incredible journey is awaiting for sure!