Listen man, I know you don’t usually come to this site looking for information about Girls creator and world’s most obvious Oberlin alum Lena Dunham, but you gotta hear about this shit with the dog she gave up and the shelter that absolutely demolished her online.
This all started four years ago, when Dunham adopted a rescue dog named Lamby and wrote an essay about it in one of those standard, insufferable New Yorker personal essays that’s five million words too long. That essay, which included some fairly alarming details about the dog biting everyone (including Dunham’s boyfriend, who was already allergic to dogs to begin with), also included the curious tidbit that Lamby had three previous owners and three previous names.
Now, I’ve adopted a shelter dog, and all the shelter knew about my guy was where they found him. They usually can’t even give you an exact age when you get a shelter dog. You get a guesstimate. They were like, “Uhhhh, three?” So this was already weird well before Dunham went posting anal dog bite wounds to her Instagram.
Fast forward to June, when Dunham wrote a long post explaining that she had given up Lamby in March (or, in her words, sent him to “an amazing treatment facility in Los Angeles”) because of his aggression. Who needs four years to get rid of a dog? Who posts Instagram photos of that dog AFTER giving him up and then declares that “honesty is my jam”? LENA DUNHAM, that’s who. Dunham also claimed that Lamby “suffered terrible abuse as a pup that made having him in a typical home environment dangerous.” Again, how the fuck could she possibly know what happened to the dog as pup? It’s not like the dog can sit down next to you by a lake one day and be like, “This is really hard for me to talk about but…”
I am far from the only person to raise an eyebrow about this story. Yesterday, Suzy Byrne at Yahoo contacted a rep for the BARC shelter in Brooklyn, who proceeded to thoroughly, and beautifully, ruin Dunham’s shit:
“We checked the records for Lamby,” Robert Vazquez told Yahoo Celebrity via email. “He was ‘owner surrendered, not enough time,’ so we do not know where she got ‘multiple owners that abused the dog.’” (In her New Yorker piece from March 2013, Dunham said the dog had “three other homes, three other names, but now he’s mine mine mine.”)
“When she adopted the dog from us, it wasn’t crazy,” Vazquez continued. “I have pictures of the dog loving on Lena and her mom, which is weird if the dog was abused. It wouldn’t be cuddling with her or be in the bed with her ‘boyfriend’ in the pages of Vogue.” (Lamby appeared with Lena in a 2014 Vogue spread, which also featuring her co-star Adam Driver. The dog, which seemed like a trained pro, was with the pair on city streets, in bed, and chilling with the pair in the bathroom.)
Vazquez says he personally was there “the four times Lena visited Lamby” prior to the adoption “because I’ve been in-charge of the dogs for the last 14-15 years at BARC. If Lamby had a bad past or was abused, do you think BARC would have adopted him to Lena knowing she’s a new star and put her — or the dog — in that situation? We would have told her if the dog had issues. We are a no-kill shelter. We don’t lie about the dogs’ histories because that gets them returned — and mentally it’s not good for dogs….
“It’s just hard to believe the dog was nasty when she took Lamby to every green room with her when Girls was still a thing 4 years ago.”
BOOM! Holy shit! I’m gonna read that passage every morning as a daily affirmation. UNREAL.
But wait! We’re not even done, because it turns out that Dunham, a walking New York Times hateread, got herself two NEW fancy dogs. And she got them BEFORE dumping poor Lamby to L.A. doggy heaven. Did I mention that these two dogs are puppies, which need a lot of training and are maybe not best served in the care of someone who couldn’t properly train a single rescue dog after four years of ownership? Did I mention that she brought these puppies onto the goddamn Tonight Show, which they probably didn’t enjoy? That’s all true!
But wait! Holy Christ we’re STILL not done, because Dunham shot back at the shelter in an Instagram post that contains the single saddest dog watercolor ever painted AND a kicker that reads like a bad Richard Deitsch tweet:
[throws cards in the air]
[spins around in chair]
[rips off shirt]
HOLY SHIT. She’s going toe-to-toe with a no-kill shelter! WHO DOES THAT? I’m ready to question everything now. Is there REALLY an L.A. facility called Zen Dog? Why was Lamby drinking his own piss when he arrived? “Wow, this unstable dog that I’ve been the custodian of for four years was definitely traumatized by the PREVIOUS three owners, yessir.” Did Lamby REALLY find a new home? Where is Lamby, dammit? WHERE IS LAMBY, LENA?! Tell you what: that facility is gonna get two crazyass breeder dogs dumped on it four years from now.
In all seriousness, I know that adopting a dog and then struggling with its care is a very real and potentially heartbreaking situation. We almost gave up our dog before finally bearing down and taming the savage beast, but that took a lot of work, and results aren’t always guaranteed. Virtually every choice presented before you with a problem dog can be a damning one.
But we’re well past the standard boundaries of empathy here. Lena Dunham is a serial confessionalist, and yet the one thing she CAN’T seem to confess is anything true about this poor fucking dog! It’s amazing! I would watch a 12-part investigative documentary about what a shitty dog owner Dunham is. Somebody find Lamby and get him to squeal. I bet he’d spill the beans for a cold glass of piss.