There's been a lot of controversy surrounding Lena Dunham's decision to re-home her rescue dog, Lamby. Now, the dog trainer who spent a year working with Lamby in Los Angeles is chiming in.
Matt Beisner, who runs The Zen Dog, spent a year working with Dunham and her dog when his behavioral issues started getting out of control. In a statement to People, Beisner defended Dunham's "painful decision" to give the dog up.
An Instagram post by Dunham announcing her decision to re-home Lamby sparked controversy when a spokesman for BARC, the Brooklyn-based animal rescue the dog was adopted from, disputed Dunham's claims that the dog had been abused and had exhibited aggressive behaviors.
Beisner says Lamby's change in behavior isn't all that uncommon.
"The dog that we see in the shelter is often not the dog that we see in the home," Beisner told People. "And often the dog in the home on day one is different than the dog that we see at the six-month mark. It’s so predictable that I can almost put it on the calendar. When someone tells me they adopted a dog, I’m waiting for them to call."
Beisner said that Lamby was already "really aggressive" when Dunham reached out to him last year after she had already tried six other trainers. Beisner said Dunham "was at her wit's end."
Beisner went on to describe Lamby's unwillingness to be touched or handled.
"When he came to us there were days where we had to carry his crate out to the yard and open it to let him come out because we couldn’t safely put our hands near him to get a leash on him to walk him," he recalled.
Beisner told People that Dunham, who he described as a "really proactive, diligent" pet owner, initially didn't consider re-homing Lamby an option. Eventually, though, she changed her mind, and one of Beisner's staff members adopted the dog in March.
Beisner said he had almost forgotten about the incident until Dunham emailed him in June, saying she was going to "break the silence" on Lamby. He feels the controversy that erupted after Dunham's Instagram post was ultimately unproductive.
"I think if we spent less time and energy attacking this individual owner — who I get it, is a lightning rod — and more energy talking about how we could help dogs," he told People, "we would have made a big difference in the past week."