For Lauren Buys, modeling was all she knew until she was 15. When the pandemic hit, it forced her to reevaluate her life path and find new meaning. Luckily, she has her angel - aka her Rottweiler Coda - to help her. Read Lauren’s interview to learn more about her transition into Kundalini yoga teaching and about how Coda has been her biggest comfort through this period of personal growth.
H: Why don’t you introduce yourself and Coda?
L: My name is Lauren Buys and I’m 29. Currently, I'm transitioning from being a model into a Kundalini teacher. I'm already a yoga teacher, but I'm a little bit shy to teach. Koda is two. She is a Sagittarius and I’m a Capricorn. So we pair well together (laughs).
H: Tell me about how you got Coda.
L: I felt a very strong urge to get a Bullmastiff all of sudden. I was like “We need to do it now within this month”. I searched for Bullmastiffs and Coda was the last one in a litter all the way in Indiana. I just felt like I needed her. They sent her and it took three days in a truck. I didn't realize that it was going to take that long.
When she got here, she was just this fat, little, perfect, small thing. And she was small for about two weeks and that changed very quickly.
H: Where did the desire to suddenly get a dog come from? Did you always want a dog or was it really random?
L: I grew up with big dogs like Rottweilers. It was kind of an option between getting a Bullmastiff or a Rottweiler. I thought that a Mastiff would be nicer for the city. I think Rottweilers can be a little intimidating.
I feel like it was fate. I feel like she was calling to me. I love her with my whole heart. She’s just this angel dog. I don’t know what I would have done without her - especially with the pandemic.
H: When you first saw her, what was going through your brain?
L: I felt out of sorts, like I was a kid again. Just major excitement.
H: How has Coda evolved alongside you as you’ve transitioned from modeling?
L: It’s been a lot of finding out who I am - because I’ve been used to being told who I am. I started modeling when I was 15. You’re told who you are and who you have to be. But when that changes - it feels like everything is changing and nothing is in your control. It’s been a lot of learning to trust and learning to let go.
It feels like Coda just absorbs any worries or bad energy and puts it back out in the form of love. She’s been a huge comfort.
H: How has it been reclaiming your own power and your own voice?
L: I now recognize that I have issues with finding my own voice. There’s a discomfort in sharing my voice. I’m so used to thinking, “How do they want me to be? I can mold myself into whatever they need.” So as cliche as it sounds, it’s just been doing some deep soul-searching.
H: Has Coda been a catalyst in your change?
L: I feel like she’s gone through some changes as well. When I first got her, she was this naughty, little, cute puppy and so full of energy. She’s just evolved into an angel. I feel like she's my angel.
H: Have there been specifically hard moments for you over the last few years where you’ve leaned on Coda to help you through?
L: I will literally go up to her and she'll sit and I'll cry onto her back if I’m going through a tough time. And she just sits and almost loves it. As if she’s saying “as long as you’re holding me, sob as hard as you want.”
H: How many animals do you have?
L: We have two cats and two dogs. We have a thirteen-year-old English bulldog with three legs. She’s my fiance's princess and Coda is my baby.
H: How did that dynamic play out?
L: It was a little tough. There’s an age difference between them. Koda wants to play all the time and Dylan does not. It’s less now but in the beginning, there was definitely a separation in the beginning - like Dylan’s his and Koda’s mine.
H: Have you always wanted to live in a household with lots of animals?
L: Yes, I grew up living in a house with lots of animals. They're amazing. They're these little souls that just love you unconditionally and don't care really about what you're going through. They're just there for you always.I’d love to open a shelter one day or a farm and just help animals.
Animals don’t have a voice to protect themselves like we do and they’re so trusting. You can rescue an abused animal that’s been kept in a cage and not fed and eventually through time and work, it will love you. If you haven’t experienced love or a deep connection, I also think they offer you a chance to experience that.
H: How would you describe Coda?
L: She’s my child that has come in the form of an angel dressed in a dog coat (laughs).
H: If Coda could understand English for 30 seconds and then that window closes, what would you tell her?
L: I'd say, I love you so much. I think you are so beautiful and so wonderful. Sometimes other dogs don't like you because you're so big and it's not because you're bad. It's just because they're intimidated.