Fiona Apple has delayed her tour of South America in order to care for Janet, her 13-year-old pit bull, who is dying. Janet has been diagnosed with Addison’s disease, a rare and chronic hormonal disorder that affects female dogs between 4 and 7 years old. The singer considers the pet her mother, daughter and best friend and says the animal is who taught her how to love.
The Grammy-winner just wrapped up a tour of North America and was due travel to South America for the next leg of her tour, which marks the released of her fourth album “The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do”. The 12 nights of concerts were scheduled to start in São Paulo, Brazil this month, followed by Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro. Fiona was also due to perform in Mexico City in December. There aren’t any plans to reschedule the performances so far, but she has hinted they will be arranged later.
Fiona, 35, made the announcement about the delayed concerts and Janet’s condition in a handwritten letter that she posted on Facebook on Tuesday. She described the situation with her dog and asked for understanding from her thousands of fans. She said Janet has been sick for nearly two years with a tumour that has been sitting in her chest and growing slowly. She described how she found the dog in Echo Park at 4 months old with bites all over her head after being used by dogfighters to boost the contenders’ confidence. Fiona, 21 at the time, considered Janet her child.
Now the pet is nearly 14 years old, and Fiona has never seen her growl, bite or pick a fight with anyone. Janet is the most consistent relationship the singer has had as an adult. It’s always been just the two of them, with the dog sleeping in bed with her (using a pillow). The pet has even been there for her through heartbreak and broken spirits, putting her paws around the singer as she cried into her chest. She has sat under the piano while songs were written, barked during recordings and was at the recording studio for the latest album.
Fiona went on to explain in her letter that Addison’s disease makes travel dangerous for Janet, which is why she’s used to the singer leaving for a few weeks every few years. The illness requires regular injections of Cortisol, as stress and excitement can literally cause her to panic to death. She has always been playful and happy when Fiona returns from tours, but after travelling North America, there’s been a big difference. Janet doesn’t even want to go for walks, and Fiona knows the end is near. She can’t leave Janet, as she’s afraid the dog will die while she’s away and that she won’t be there to sing her to sleep.
Fiona debuted with album “Tidal” in 1996 and had stopped taking tours in 2007 until the release of this latest album in June. However, she was also in the news for an arrest in September, when police discovered weed and hashish on her tour bus at a border patrol checkpoint in West Texas. She was held in custody overnight and released the day after on $10,000 bail.