In Heartbreaking Handwritten Letter, Fiona Apple Cancels Tour to Be with Dying Dog

Fiona Apple has long been one of alt-rock’s most brooding figures, but it seems her heart is extra heavy these days

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Fiona Apple performs at the Louisville Palace Theater on Oct. 5, 2012, in Louisville, Ky.

Fiona Apple has long been one of alt-rock’s most brooding figures, but it seems her heart is extra heavy these days. The 35-year-old singer-songwriter is canceling the South American leg of her tour to stay by the side of her dying 14-year-old pit bull, Janet, People reports. In a handwritten four-page letter posted on her Facebook page and official website, Apple explains her decision in heart-wrenching detail.

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

She described Janet as “my best friend and my mother and my daughter, my benefactor” and “the one who taught me what love is.”

The Grammy winner adopted her canine companion at age 21, when Janet was a four-month old puppy who had been used as bait in dogfights. She explained that Janet has Addison’s disease and a chest tumor and that she noticed “a big, big difference” in her pet’s health when she returned from her U.S. tour. She was scheduled start her next excursion on Nov. 27 in Brazil, according to Rolling Stone.

(MORE: Animal Expert Jon Katz on How to Find Peace When Pets Die)

“I can’t come to South America. Not now,” Apple wrote. “She doesn’t even want to go for walks anymore.”

The singer said that although she’s usually indecisive — she jokes that it sometimes takes her 20 minutes to choose which socks to wear — she came to an “instant” conclusion about her dog dilemma. She fears Janet will die while she’s away, robbing Apple of “the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out.”

“I will not be the woman who puts her career about love and friendship,” she wrote.

Apple, whose latest album, carrying the abridged title The Idler Wheel …, came out in June, vows to make the trip to South America another time and asks would-be concertgoers to “please understand” her choice. Being with Janet in her final days “will be the most beautiful, the most intense, the most enriching experience of life I’ve ever known,” Apple wrote.

MORE: Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel …: Painful, Raw Parts That Form Something Beautiful