Jack Antonoff Defends Lena Dunham After Animal Shelter Controversy
If you’ve paid any attention to Lena Dunham over the past few years, you are doubtless familiar with Lamby, the dog that she adopted from a Broolyn no-kill shelter four years ago. Dunham wrote a New Yorker essay about the joys of dog ownership, and she also once reportedly fed the dog a $22 salmon filet at a restaurant. And now Dunham has written an Instagram post about how she’s had to give the dog up.
Lamby, who has had several violent episodes, has gone to live at a dog-rehab facility in Los Angeles.
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.
In that post, Dunham writes, “Lamby suffered terrible abuse as a pup that made having him in a typical home environment dangerous to him and others.”
But, as The Washington Post reports, the shelter where Dunham adopted the dog disputes her account. Robert Vasquez, a spokesman for the Brooklyn BARC shelter, tells Yahoo, “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.”
On Thursday night, Dunham responded to the shelter’s account, refusing to apologize for what she’d originally said:
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.
Dunham’s boyfriend, of course, is Fun./Bleachers member and producer-to-the-stars Jack Antonoff, who also lived with Lamby for four years despite being allergic to dogs. Here’s what he has to say about this tiny little micro-scandal:
nobody on earth cares for or loved lamby more than lena. after her bit her father and her twice we found a trainer who deals with aggressive— jackantonoff (@jackantonoff) July 7, 2017
dogs who he now lives happily with. was a deeply hard decision.— jackantonoff (@jackantonoff) July 7, 2017
shoutout to everyone who has an opinion on this and didn't live with us the past 4 years!— jackantonoff (@jackantonoff) July 7, 2017
There. Now you know much, much more about Lena Dunham, Jack Antonoff and Lamby than you probably ever needed to know. Honesty is their jam.
This article was originally published on Stereogum.