Lena Dunham used to have a rescue dog named Lamby, and for a while he was the star of her Instagram. He was always getting into some kind of panty-chewing trouble and general canine urine mischief. Then Lamby got into some real trouble a couple years ago when he bit Lena in the ass and drew blood. Lamby wasn’t on Lena’s Instagram that much after that. That was over three years ago, and Lena came clean about where Lamby went. She claims Lamby was a very abused puppy and she just couldn’t handle his special needs. Except according to the Brooklyn dog rescue where she got Lamby, she’s lying.
This all started because Lena has spent the past few months Instagramming two new brown poodles, which caused some of her followers to ask where her Lamby was. She explained that she was forced to surrender him to a dog trainer in Los Angeles and that he was abused as a puppy.
A lot of you have been asking where Lamby is these days since he's always been the star of my gram and I've been posting pics of my poodle girls. Well, you know honesty is my jam but this one has been really heartbreaking to talk about. But I feel I have to share that last March, after four years of challenging behavior and aggression that could not be treated with training or medication or consistent loving dog ownership, Lamby went to live at an amazing professional facility in Los Angeles @matt_thezendog where an awesome person named @therealdanishay (who is educated in a rescue dog's specific trauma) loves him so hard. Lamby suffered terrible abuse as a pup that made having him in a typical home environment dangerous to him and others- we needed to be responsible to ourselves, our neighbors and especially our beloved boy. Jack and I will miss him forever but sometimes when you love something you have to let it go (especially when it requires tetanus shots and stitches.) Someday I'll really write about the pain and relief of letting Lamby go off and really be Lamby, biting and peeing in his own mouth and all. There were so many lessons in it, about forgiving myself and loving with an open palm and giving in to a larger plan. Shout out to @jennikonner for listening to endless hours of Lamby pain, and especially my partner @jackantonoff for loving him even when he ruined floors and couches and our life. Jack knows what Lamby means to me and he let me come to the decision in my own time even when it made his days challenging. Susan & Karen will never be my first loves, but they are fuzzy and hilarious stuffing for the hole Lamby left and we cherish them deeply ❤️#lamby #thefirstcutisthedeepest #foreverlamb PS If you have a similar situation, please know its possible to responsibly re-home your rescue rather than sending them back into the shelter system. It can require patience, diligence and often a financial contribution but there are solutions that leave everyone happy and safe. You will always have been your dog's first stop outside shelter life and that's beautiful.
Robert Vazquez – a rep from BARC, the no-kill shelter where Lamby was rescued – spoke to Yahoo! Celebrity with their side of the story. Robert, who says he’s been in charge of the dogs at BARC for the last 14 to 15 years, side-eyes Lena’s claims that Lamby suffered “terrible abuse” as a puppy. Lena also claimed in a New Yorker article shortly after she adopted Lamby that he had “three other homes” before she adopted him. Robert doubts that claim too.
“We checked the records for Lamby. He was ‘owner surrendered, not enough time,’ so we do not know where she got ‘multiple owners that abused the dog.”
At the time of his adoption by the star, the dog was just 1 “nearing 2-years-old” – and he didn’t have a history of being aggressive. When she adopted the dog from us, it wasn’t crazy. 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.”
Robert adds that he was present during the four times Lena came to visit Lamby before she adopted him. He says they never would have sent him home with her if they thought he was aggressive, and that they don’t lie about the dogs’ histories.
Lena didn’t take too kindly to Robbie calling her out. She says BARC didn’t know what his behavior was like after he was adopted. But she didn’t have much to say about Lamby’s alleged abusive past.
It's come to my attention that the staff at the shelter where I adopted Lamby have a very different account of his early life and behavioral issues than I do. While I'm sorry to have disappointed them, I can't apologize. Lamby was and is one of the great loves of my life. When I met him I knew we'd have an amazing journey. But his aggression – which was unpredictable- and his particular issues, which remain myriad, weren't manageable, at least not by me. I did what I thought the best mother would do, which was to give him a life that provided for his specific needs. He'd been with me for nearly four years and I was his mom- I was in the best position to discern what those needs were. After countless hours of training, endless financial support and a lot of tears he was given access to a better life. I still support him financially and I'll always be there for him in every way but he's notably happier in his new surroundings. Why should this story be subject to scrutiny and anger? It is willfully misunderstanding the truth. I hope those judging can imagine the incredible pain of letting go of your favorite creature on EARTH because you know you can't help them be healthy and happy. I would never say an unkind word about the staff of BARC, what they do is amazing and life saving for these animals- but we have different accounts of Lamby's behavior and they were not present in my home nor did they live with him for an extended period. They did not witness the consistent and responsible care I provided. I have weathered a lot of micro-scandals but this one hurts MOST, because of the vulnerability of letting people know Lamby and my story, and because I miss him so damn much. This is the painting that greets me every day when I walk into my home. This is the animal who taught me about loving and letting go. I know I'm a lot of fun to place your issues on, but I won't let anyone hang their hat on this peg. Not this time.
Lamby’s new trainer has also chimed in with their thoughts. They say many people have been “violently blindsided” by a sweet dog, and that you can’t really judge a person for re-homing their pet.
I can’t speak on re-homing a dog (I’m a fish person), but Robert really shouldn’t have been surprised that Lena would (allegedly) get creative with Lamby’s origin story. In fact, I can’t believe she actually said she got him from a rescue and not made up something about finding Lamby wandering through the streets of Bushwick with a little hobo bindle, offering to slobber-shine people’s shoes for a Milk Bone.
Pic: Lena Dunham