“The tap-tap-tap of his paws jolted me back to reality I suddenly froze. I put the gun down. Then I prayed.”
Trigger Warning: This story contains details about the ideation of suicide that may be disturbing to readers.
Dolly Parton oozes joy and happiness, but her past was not always so bright. She's experienced heartbreak like the rest of us, and once it pushed her into such depression that she contemplated suicide.
She wouldn't have been a part of this world, had it not been for her dog, Popeye. He saved her life after the pet came running up the stairs, just as she was considering pulling the trigger of a gun, according to HuffPost.
The 75-year-old country singer makes the revelation in an interview published in the new book ‘Dolly On Dolly, Interviews And Encounters With Dolly Parton’.
“I was sitting upstairs in my bedroom one afternoon when I noticed in the nightstand drawer my gun that I keep for burglars,” she explained. “I looked at it a long time... Then, just as I picked it up, just to hold it and look at it for a moment, our little dog, Popeye, came running up the stairs.
“The tap-tap-tap of his paws jolted me back to reality I suddenly froze. I put the gun down. Then I prayed.” The fact that Popeye came to her at her most vulnerable seemed like he was a sign from God, to let her know her life matters.
“I kinda believe Popeye was a spiritual messenger from God,” she says. “I don’t think I’d have done it, killed myself, but I can’t say for sure. Now that I’ve gone through that terrible moment, I can certainly understand the possibilities even for someone solid like me if the pain gets bad enough.”
Elsewhere in the book, she states how her childhood was also not that easy. She was the oldest of twelve children growing up in Tennessee. They grew up so poor that she and her siblings had to go to a local river to take a shower. It was also an added bonus if someone wet the shared bed at night as it kept them warm.
“That was the only warm thing we knew in the wintertime,” she explains. “That was our most pleasure to get peed on. If you kept the air out from under the cover, the pee didn’t get so cold. Lord, it was as cold in the room where we slept as it was outside.”
Additionally, in an essay published by Guideposts, Parton explained that her life growing up was far from charmed, but her family made it work. "Finding a way to put everything to good use, that was a way of life in the Smokies," she wrote. "It wasn't just about taking care of what we'd been given. It was about survival, about trying every day, every minute, to make things a little bit better."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Terry Wyatt