Lena Dunham has been left devastated after her dog passed away.

The 'Girls' star has paid tribute to 13-year-old Yorkshire terrier Bowie, who she explained she took on from her sister as a ''begrudging guardian'' a few months ago before developing a ''full scale obsession'' with her furry friend, who died earlier this month.

She wrote on Instagram: ''As many of you know, in the last 3 months my heart was stolen by an irascible 13 year old Yorkie named Bowie. After spending a lifetime with my sister @scotlan, her home now contained a baby and another on the way and Bowie's crotchety old self wouldn't condone it so she came to live with me, and what started as a tentative guardianship became a full scale obsession.(sic)''

The 32-year-old star went on to explain how she'd taken the little dog everywhere with her and Bowie made her feel ''safe and strong''.

She continued: ''We went to brunch and therapy and the set of a TV show and took at least 5 flights across the US. We laid our heads in a few very chic hotel rooms and walked up and down the river a million miles.

''She made me feel safe and strong in a sea of change and reminded me that joy needn't be diminished by a bunch o' imperfect body parts (she wielded her 3 teeth/3 working legs in style.)

''My head knew she was 91 in dog years, but my heart felt she was just a sweet baby. On August 13th this sweet baby old mama went to her final home.''

Lena spoke movingly about how she and her sister gathered to say a final goodbye to their canine companion.

She wrote: ''After a weekend of rapid decline, I knew it was time to let her go so Scotty and I (along with her super model baby Clementine and her wise, cozy husband @mf.goodtimes) came together to bid her farewell. It was peaceful and patient and loving.

''We laughed and cried like the family that Bowie has made us. Bowie left everyone who saw her, in the street or the airport or the Rite Aid, with a crazy smile. She kept me safe at night, even if it was just from the indistinct shadow of a tank top strewn over a lamp. She made Scotty and my friendship something eternal and deep and boundless. I am so lucky to have been her second mom.''

Lena has pledged to donate to New Jersey rescue centre See Spot Rescued in honour of Bowie to help out ''dogs who don't have homes and dogs who need new ones''.