Fiona Apple's 13-year-old pit bull Janet has been there for her through all the ups and downs over the years, and now the singer is returning the favor. On Tuesday, Apple announced via a four-page handwritten note posted on Facebook that she has postponed her South American tour indefinitely as she cares for her dog as it nears the end of its life after a two-year battle with cancer.
In the touching post, the "Criminal" singer begins by explaining how she came to own Janet when the pup was just 4 months old (Apple was 21) and "was found in Echo Park [in Los Angeles] 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."
Over the years, throughout Apple's relationship woes, Janet, she says, "has been the most consistent relationship … it's always 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."
The dog was at Apple's feet as she sat at the piano and penned many of her hits songs, and was even in the recording studio while she worked on her latest album, The Idler Wheel. It wasn't until that last three years, she writes, that Janet began to slow down. And after Apple finished the North American leg of her tour, she came home to a noticeably different Janet. "She doesn't even want to go for walks anymore," Apple explains. "I know that she's not sad about aging or dying ... 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 … I will not be the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship."
Calling Janet's approaching passing "the most beautiful, the most intense, the most enriching experience of life," Apple closes with a request for the blessing from her fans for her decision. "She's my best friend and my mother and my daughter, my benefactor, and she's the one who taught me what love is … 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."
Four hours after Apple posted the message, it already had more than 15,000 "likes" and has been shared with others nearly 7,000 times ... proving the power of love for man's best friend.
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