Fiona Apple Put Her Tour On Hold To Care For Her Beloved Dog

Back in 2012, musician Fiona Apple postponed her South American tour to tend to her dying dog. She posted a letter on her Facebook page explaining why she made the decision and hoping her fans would understand. But her decision is easy to understand if you care for animals.

Apple’s 14-year-old pit bull Janet suffered from Addison’s disease and had a tumor that had been slowly growing for several years. When her energy began to fade, Apple knew it was coming close to the time to say goodbye. Apple told her followers, “I just can’t leave her now, please understand. If I go away again, I’m afraid she’ll die and I won’t have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out.”

Apple adopted Janet after she was rescued as a puppy. She was found in a Los Angeles park when she was just 4 months old. The puppy had a rope around her neck and bites all over her face and ears, indicating she had likely been used as a bait dog in dog fighting. Apple said Janet was a “pacifist” and throughout her life the dog never barked or growled. She wrote, “I got her when she was 4 months old. I was 21 then, an adult officially – and she was my child.” She added, “Janet has been the most consistent relationship of my adult life, and that is just a fact.”

Janet was Apple’s constant companion throughout the years and was always close by. “She was under the piano when I wrote songs, barked any time I tried to record anything, and she was in the studio with me all the time we recorded the last album,” Apple wrote.

Apple said the dog “slept in bed with me, her head on the pillow, and she accepted my hysterical, tearful face into her chest, with her paws around me, every time I was heartbroken, or spirit-broken, or just lost, and as years went by, she let me take the role of her child, as I fell asleep, with her chin resting above my head.”

When Apple knew her beloved dog was dying, she made plans to be by her best friend’s side and to take care of her until the end. “These are the choices we make, which define us,” Apple wrote at the time. “I will not be the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship. She’s my best friend and my mother and my daughter, my benefactor, and she’s the one who taught me what love is.”

Here is her touching letter in full from her Facebook page:

“I have a dog Janet, and she’s been ill for almost two years now, as a tumor has been idling in her chest, growing ever so slowly. She’s almost 14 years old now. I got her when she was 4 months old. I was 21 then ,an adult officially – and she was my child.

“She is a pitbull, and was found in Echo Park, with a rope around her neck, and bites all over her ears and face. She was the one the dogfighters use to puff up the confidence of the contenders.

“She’s almost 14 and I’ve never seen her start a fight, or bite, or even growl, so I can understand why they chose her for that awful role. She’s a pacifist.

“Janet has been the most consistent relationship of my adult life, and that is just a fact. We’ve lived in numerous houses, and jumped a few make shift families, but it’s always really been the two of us.

“She slept in bed with me, her head on the pillow, and she accepted my hysterical, tearful face into her chest, with her paws around me, every time I was heartbroken, or spirit-broken, or just lost, and as years went by, she let me take the role of her child, as I fell asleep, with her chin resting above my head.

“She was under the piano when I wrote songs, barked any time I tried to record anything, and she was in the studio with me all the time we recorded the last album.

“The last time I came back from tour, she was spry as ever, and she’s used to me being gone for a few weeks every 6 or 7 years. She has Addison’s Disease, which makes it dangerous for her to travel since she needs regular injections of Cortisol, because she reacts to stress and to excitement without the physiological tools which keep most of us from literally panicking to death.

“Despite all of this, she’s effortlessly joyful and playful, and only stopped acting like a puppy about 3 years ago. She’s my best friend and my mother and my daughter, my benefactor, and she’s the one who taught me what love is. I can’t come to South America. Not now.

“When I got back from the last leg of the US tour, there was a big, big difference. She doesn’t even want to go for walks anymore. I know that she’s not sad about aging or dying. Animals have a survival instinct, but a sense of mortality and vanity, they do not. That’s why they are so much more present than people.

“But I know that she is coming close to point where she will stop being a dog, and instead, be part of everything. She’ll be in the wind, and in the soil, and the snow, and in me, wherever I go. I just can’t leave her now, please understand.

“If I go away again, I’m afraid she’ll die and I won’t have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out. Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to pick which socks to wear to bed. But this decision is instant. These are the choices we make, which define us. I will not be the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship.

“I am the woman who stays home and bakes Tilapia for my dearest, oldest friend. And helps her be comfortable, and comforted, and safe, and important. Many of us these days, we dread the death of a loved one. It is the ugly truth of Life, that keeps us feeling terrified and alone.

“I wish we could also appreciate the time that lies right beside the end of time. I know that I will feel the most overwhelming knowledge of her, and of her life and of my love for her, in the last moments. I need to do my damnedest to be there for that. Because it will be the most beautiful, the most intense, the most enriching experience of life I’ve ever known. When she dies.

“So I am staying home, and I am listening to her snore and wheeze, and reveling in the swampiest, most awful breath that ever emanated from an angel. And I am asking for your blessing.

“I’ll be seeing you.

Love, Fiona”

What a touching, emotional letter about a loved one, and why pets make such wonderful companions. If her letter moved you, please share it with your friends.