27-year-old Grammy award-winning singer Halsey never understood the pain of losing a dog until she experienced it for herself. “Before I had a dog of my own, I would hear people mourn their pets and think ‘it’s just a dog…’ well, I couldn’t have been more wrong,” she wrote in a heartbreakingly candid Instagram post.
Halsey adopted Pit Bull mix Jagger in 2017 when he was just a few weeks old. She instantly fell for the cuddly pup, and while she mentally prepared herself to lose him someday, she thought he’d be “old and rickety and grumpy” when the time came. She never imagined Jagger would be cut down in the prime of his life by a rare, sudden, and catastrophic spinal condition.
5-year-old Jagger passed away after developing Myelomalacia, an uncommon complication that occurs after a severe spinal cord injury. The dog suffers a herniated disc, resulting in impaired blood supply, paralysis, and eventual spinal cord necrosis (tissue death). There is no known treatment, and it is almost always fatal.
According to Halsey’s Instagram post:
“Within 3 days my beautiful baby boy went from chasing imaginary birds around the yard and laying in my lap turning his ears up at the sounds of Sesame Street, to having paralysis spread through his body by the hour.”
The sudden and shocking nature of Jagger’s death made it all the more visceral for the “Without Me” and “Bad At Love” singer.
“I knew it would hurt and I feared it immensely, but I was at peace that we’d have many more years together and he’d have a long good life.”
“I don’t know why I’m sharing all this besides to just say love your pets every single second because anything can change in a moment.”
For those who believe pet loss is not a traumatic experience—as she once did—Halsey recommends they rethink their stance.
“If you’re reading this and you don’t have a pet, you might be thinking “it’s just a dog.” Like I maybe used to. But I can tell you you’re wrong. So f***ing wrong. It’s the most visceral loss I have ever felt. Like the absence of a vital appendage. Every single second of my day that once revolved around his little habits and routines is now full of just emptiness and silence.”
Halsey refers to Jagger as her “very first love” and credits him with having taught her “how to be a mommy.” She and screenwriter Alev Aydin welcomed their first child, Ender Ridley Aydin, in July of 2021.
She included this darling photo of Ender and Jagger gazing out the window together in her post.
View Halsey’s entire tribute below.