In this week’s New Yorker, Girls creator Lena Dunham pens a heartfelt essay about wanting a dog her whole life, and then finally getting one — Lamby. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know who Dunham is or know anything about the generation she is the voice of (or “a voice of,” in some funny words from season one of the show). This is simply a wonderful essay for dog lovers.
And also, because this is Dunham’s life, it’s also pretty strange. These are the greatest/weirdest parts:
1. Her first pet was a newt “that choked to death on a bad worm.” Then she had a hairless cat.
2. While Lena did not grow up with a dog, her mother grew up with a dog: Cindy, a Shepherd–Collie mix with “serious aggression issues and a pathological obsession with Ritz crackers. She was tied to a tree all day on the lawn outside my mother’s neo-Tudor house.”
3. Her father also grew up with a dog: General George Armstrong Custer, a Dachshund who once ate an entire 18-pound ham and liked to roll in dead eels on the riverbank.
4. When she was 15, Lena climbed into a van with a strangers (animal rescuers she had just met) and saved tiny Pit Bull infants from a parking lot near the Gowanus Canal. Then she got out of the van with the tiny dogs stuffed in her parka and made her way home, back to Brooklyn Heights. She had never owned a dog before.
5. She named the dogs Uno, Bruno, and Devo. “But by the end of the second afternoon I was an Octomom-style mess. They weren’t eating enough. They weren’t pooping enough. Once, I left the room for too long and when I came back they were sucking each other’s tiny [penises], in a circle, like crazed swingers, blind to the fact that those things weren’t nipples.”
6. Her parents were livid. The dogs went back with the rescuers.
7. One year later, the family got its official family dog, “an old-fashioned terrier with a sheaf of official papers that came with him on a plane from Indiana.”
8. Currently, Dunham’s refrigerator contains “old yogurt, old vinegar, and whatever kind of medicines you’re told to keep cold (usually prescribed for your vagina).”
9. Lena got her current dog, Lamby, from a rescue group in industrial Brooklyn. We know all about Lamby.
10. In the story, when Lamby acts up late at night, Lena crawls to him at the foot of the bed and whispers, “It’s okay, I’m here. I’ve been waiting for you for so long. Before I even knew about you, I was waiting for you. When you were born, I was only 25 years old. I had a boyfriend I didn’t love, but I told him that I did and he made me a pencil case, so I didn’t even know I needed you. But I needed you. … And the rest of the months I waited for you, and now here you are.”
“Sh-h-h . . . I love you. I love you. I love you so much.”
You should really read the whole thing yourself. Sorry for all the spoilers, but that’s what this generation does.
Via the New Yorker; photos via Lena Dunham’s Twitter