The artist, 37, reflected on her ups and downs in an essay penned for Elle about the loss of her dog, Petunia, whom she shared with the comedian, 40. “Petunia and I moved to Connecticut in December 2020, in the wake of my severe mental health breakdown and what appeared to be the impending end of my marriage,” Tendler wrote. “We fused even more deeply together in an attuned and totally symbiotic relationship. She never let me out of her sight.”
Tendler said her bond with her pooch was “the deepest kind of love I had ever known,” adding that her pet was a source of comfort through hard times. “My mental health hinged wholly on my dog,” she explained. “When I was hospitalized for depression, self-harm, and severe suicidal ideation in the first two weeks of 2021, the doctors asked me to make a list of my reasons for living. Petunia was the one and only thing on that list.”
She continued: “When I returned home, it was as if Petunia knew this and took her job very seriously. … Petunia became an entirely new version of herself.”
Tendler and Mulaney mourned their French bulldog in tributes shared via their respective Instagram accounts earlier this year. “Petunia, I loved you from the first moment I saw you. Rest in peace,” the former Saturday Night Live writer captioned a throwback photo in April. “Thank you for being my little shadow.”
The Connecticut native, for her part, called Petunia the “smartest” and “weirdest” dog. “To think I will never again hold you, hear you, or see your big, beautiful brown eyes gazing back at me seems unfathomable. Thank you for letting me be your constant companion, and for being mine. I love you with every part of me. Until we meet again in our next life ❤️,” she wrote.
In her Elle essay, Tendler revealed that Petunia “took her last breaths while cradled in my arms.” She added: “Even after life had left her body, I sat with her, held her, and continued to talk to her. I told her how much I love her. I told her how grateful I was for her love and companionship. I promised her that I was OK and that I would be OK without her; crushed, lonely, but OK.”
The Oh, Hello star and the Pin It! author were married for six years before Us Weekly confirmed their split in May 2021. At the time, Mulaney had recently returned from a 90-day treatment program for alcohol and drug addiction.
“I am heartbroken that John has decided to end our marriage,” Tendler noted in a statement. “I wish him support and success as he continues his recovery.”
Amid her breakup, Tendler reflected on the big changes in her life in a somber New Year’s message. “Melancholia is oft amplified by circumstance and the circumstances of my year have been harsh and punishing,” she wrote in December 2021. “I find myself asking, ‘when will I feel normal?’ but in reality I recognize that the normal from before has expired; ‘normal’ is an impossibility, there is only ‘new.'”
Us confirmed one month later that Mulaney and the New York University alum finalized their divorce. The Big Mouth actor has been relatively quiet about the split but explored his relapse and sobriety journey in his latest Netflix special, Baby J.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.