11/20/2012 at 06:00 PM EST
Fiona Apple's fans will have to wait, because she has matters of life and death to attend to at home.
The singer has canceled the South American leg of her current tour to care for her dying dog, an almost 14-year-old pit bull named Janet.
The announcement came in the form of a handwritten letter that had been scanned and posted to Apple's Facebook page
and official website.
Apple adopted Janet as a puppy, after the pit bull had been used as a bait dog in dogfights. Through nearly 14 years, "Janet has been the most consistent relationship of my adult life, and that is just a fact," Apple writes. "She's my best friend and my mother and my daughter, my benefactor, and she's the one who taught me what love is."
But in the past two years, a tumor growing in Janet's chest had caused the pooch to slow down, and she is now nearing the end of her life.
"When I got back from the last leg of the U.S. tour, there was a big, big difference," Apple writes. "She doesn't even want to go for walks anymore."
For a woman who claims to take 20 minutes to pick out her socks, the decision to cancel the rest of her tour was easy.
"I just can't leave her now, please understand," Apple writes. "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."
As she comforts her dear friend, Apple awaits an experience she says will overwhelm and enrich her.
Apple ends the letter with a request: "I am asking for your blessing," she writes. "I'll be seeing you."