Fiona Apple's Heartbreaking Letter: She's Canceling Tour To Be With Dying Dog
It's 6pm on Friday,and I'm writing to a few thousand friends I have not met yet.
I am writing to ask them to change our plans and meet a little while later.
Here's the thing.
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.
Not a difficult decision to make, though. She's absolutely right.
- I don't know. I think it's a bit much.
It's just a dog.
- I didn't know I loved her.
- DRAMA QUEEN
- You're a good girl, Fiona.
- Exactly r4.
I mean - "dearest, oldest friend?"
Are we to assume that this dog is her oldest friend?
Does the dog know it's being fed Tilapia?
It's just too much.
- I think it's the drugs. After she got busted in Texas I thought to myself, "Someone needs help".
- I guess some people just feel more attached to their pets than others. My cat died recently, who'd been my constant companion for 15 years, and I'd not have left her in this situation, so I understand where Fiona is coming from completely.
- Foolish heifer
- "My dog is dying" = "Tickets weren't selling"
- I totally get this.
- Why am I not surprised that there are so many sociopaths on DL?
- What's so strsnge about the dog being her oldest friend, OP? Human friendships tend to come and go.
"It's just a dog". That may be how you feel about dogs, but you seem to lack awareness of the world around you if you think that's how all humans feel about their dogs.
- Crying now. I take comfort from her attitude about death, and will take inspiration from it for my recent loss. What R8 said.
- It's a better excuse than exhaustion.
- Her delivery is a bit overwrought, but the message is shared by most pet owners. I've had a dad die, friends leave for good, partners walk away and shatter me, etc., but nothing was as hard as the day I put down my dog.
- You're sick and need help, r16.
Lol, r15. My thoughts exactly. methinks this is about drugs.
- I think OP should be put down. It would be service to humanity.
- Man, that poor woman can't catch a break, can she? All that trouble getting out of that record company contract of hers, the trouble of releasing her music on her own, the pot/drug charge, and now she can't even tour (or as other posters suspect: low ticket sales)?
- How am I sick and need help? What an interesting diagnosis based on what I wrote.
- [quote]Why am I not surprised that there are so many sociopaths on DL?
It really is scary how many people on DL get along so poorly with humans that they invest all their emotional life in creatures that can't call them on their shit -- and pretend to "love" them because that is evolutionary behavior to get fed by humans.
- What a bitch.
- Oh, it's hand-fucking-written, bitches
- She is absolutely right, and I respect her. Though, she probably overstated it. I would think most people would understand, "I love my dog, she's ailing, I'm going to be there" explained in a a couple of short sentences or paragraphs.
But, she's an artist, so the expanded letter doesn't surprise me.
Peace to Fiona and the dog.
- God I hate R20's smug ass.
- It's a little over the top, but if you've never lost a beloved dog you cannot understand how she must feel.
Our family dog died five years ago and I still get misty eyed when I think of his last living moments. My parents vowed to never get another dog and they never did. They got a cat instead.
Give Fiona a break.
- I get it, but 20 minutes to pick out socks...Don't get that.
- I don't think that was meant to be taken literally, R27.
- Fiona is a little out there, but I've always liked her.
- If her dog dies, I think Miss Apple should legally adopt Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter.
- The "R## is a sociopath" troll(s?) is such a pain the ass.
R12, people who express ideas and feelings that you do not share and/or do not like are not, therefore, sociopaths nor are they exhibiting sociopathic traits.
You do not understand this diagnosis nor its rarity. In DL-friendly terms:
- I am *really* crying as I type. Love to Fiona and Janet.
- R29 I'm not so sure of that.
Her heart is in the right place, but the girl has always been a bit loony.
It's a nice thing she's doing. Even nicer because she's in a profession that allows you to do something like this. Most people can't take time off for a pet's death.
- It's weird how much it upsets some people that other people care for animals. I suppose they see it as some sort of silent accusation against themselves.
- Aw. Sad for her.
- [quote]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.
She has integrity and made me cry.
Dammit! What's the Lesbian version of a Datalounge Mary? Because, that is what I am right here and right now.
- I didn't either r3. If you want to experience unconditional love, get a dog. Op seems a miserable wretch.
- R35, honey, try to get over yourself.
- R35, its weird that you and miserable fucks like you consider indifference to this overwrought letter to be sociopathic or whatever other insult you can think up.
- OP, you just don't get it, and you don't seem to want to understand, so give up.
And R39, get a life.
- Trivia: Her father is Brandon Maggart, star of the groundbreaking gay sitcom "Brothers," and her sister is cabaret singer Maude Maggart.
While I empathize with her (I had the same emotions when I had to put my dog down), I wonder why anyone would name a dog Janet.
- What exactly is there to get? Dogs die. Just get another fucking dog and move on. Its that simple.
Janet's probably sick of the fucking Tilapia. That's why she's checking out. The tumor is a fucking godsend.
- You're an asshole r43, but I'm sure you knew that already.
- Sad but beautiful. My two dogs are buried in my backyard.
- If you'd been raised by parents who had way more love and affection for the pets - dogs & cats & horses - than they ever had for their children, you'd understand how it 's possible to feel suspicious of people who tell you that their greatest love is a dog.
- Agree that OP should be put down, the sooner the better. it no longer serves any purpose on this earth.
Come get your injection, OP.
- I love you, R16. My husbear could have posted exactly what you did. Please ignore the bitter assholes on this thread.
- Well I'm not hard hearted and it brought tears to my eyes.
Some of us that are single understand that our animals are our best friends
Love to Fiona and Janet
- R46, you need therapy.
- Putting down your dog was harder than losing your dad?
- plus she's a drug addict which makes touring hard...
- I love the way R35 put it. It really is that.
- R50, I've had plenty of therapy. In my experience, people who say they love animals more than they love other people are either Rrpublicans - Mitt Romney excepted - or deeply selfish angry punishing loners who cannot love unless they are always in control of their beloved.
- Supposedly the intense animal love is a sign that the person feels like a victim in the world and by saving and nurturing animals they feel they are taking care of themselves in a way that the world did not do to them.
- am glad her dog was abandoned by the assholes who were involved with pit-bull fighting. what the hell kind of people think dogfights are okay?
- r56 what right do you have telling any dog owner how they may use their dog?
- At four pages, her letter is still shorter than some of Apple's album titles.
- Wow, OP, I thought you were just unfeeling but it turns out the people who wanted to put you down were right.
We all know it's you Brandon, so you might as well write your name for people to see, you little shit.
- Dog people should all be euthanized; they're the same morons who believe political polls and in creationism.
- OP is pro-dog fighting?
You're a shit-stirring troll. F&F.
- No I'm not pro-dog-fighting but I'm also not for telling owners how they may use their dog. It's the same thing as being pro-choice. I may not agree with dog-fighting but it's not my right to prevent someone else from using their dog in a fight. Dogs are OWNED - they are not equal to us.
- The anti-Janet posters are obviously Madonna trolls.
- Shut up, OP, you shit-stirring prick. You love the attention, don't you. It's people like YOU that make us love animals more.
- So if I wanted to beat my dog to death for fun that would be totally okay with you OP? Because the dog has no rights, does it?
You're the one who sounds like a freeper with your concept of "ownership". You're disgusting.
- OP and R40 are in desperate need of serious psychological help.
Please find some.
- Dog fighting is barbarous and people who abuse dogs need to be in jail.
I have however observed that many people who claim to love dogs more than they love anyone else are sadists and control freaks, and are often dog abusers.
- [quote]I will not be the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship.
That's stark and good learning.
- [quote]I have however observed that many people who claim to love dogs more than they love anyone else are sadists and control freaks, and are often dog abusers.
Oh, where do you get a foolish notion like that?
- R29 I understand that was meant as a bit of humor. She's probably telling the truth about that though...she's a bit wacky.
- R62, you're a sick fuck. I may not worship animals the way that some people do but that does not mean that animal cruelty can be tolerated. There is simply no excuse for it. Ever.
- It is because domestic pets are not equal to us that we have a duty of care toward them. Dog fighting is vile.
- The OP of this thread should skinned and served for Korean barbecue.