'My love for pets is stronger than ever,' Dolly Parton said while launching her new brand, Doggy Parton.
Superstar country singer, actress and author Dolly Parton has announced the launch of her latest venture, "Doggy Parton." In partnership with SportPet Designs, Doggy Parton is a line of dog accessories and apparel including collars, leashes and other pet dog products. “‘Puppy Love’ was my very first record and six decades later, my love for pets is stronger than ever,” Parton said in a video posted on the brand’s new Instagram page. Parton's affection for animals comes across very clearly with the brand. She shared that part of the proceeds will support Willa B. Farms, a rescue shelter whose mission is to ensure no animals are turned away, including those who require rehabilitation, and helps them find their way to a permanent home.
Dogs, according to Parton, have been a constant throughout her and her husband, Carl Dean's, life and their shared love of pets also helped them get closer. Parton, in her book "Dolly Parton: My Life and Other Unfinished Business," says that Dean loved dogs and when his dog, Blue, passed away, Parton helped him get over it and got him a new puppy. Dean named this puppy Popeye because of his unusually large eyes. According to Parton, Dean said, “Popeye, that’s his name. Hell, he’s pop-eyed,” per Cheatsheet. According to Stephen Miller's book "Smart Blonde: Dolly Parton," she even has a pet graveyard on her property in Brentwood, Tennessee, were she and Dean laid their dogs to rest.
Her strong commitment to animal rights may be because she credits Popeye, her dog, with helping her sail through a very depressing time in her life. In an interview published in "Dolly On Dolly: Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton," the singer revealed that her pet dog saved her from taking her life after having her heart broken, per Smooth Radio.
"I was sitting upstairs in my bedroom one afternoon when I noticed in the nightstand drawer my gun that I keep for burglars,” Parton said. "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,” Parton shared. She believes that her dog’s intervention was a sign from God. She also continues to say that she is unsure if she’d have done it, but she can’t be sure.
A strong advocate for animal rights, Parton was awarded the Partnership award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2003, in connection with Dollywood’s American Eagle Foundation, per The Boot. For a poignant commercial portraying comedian Kathy Najimy as a woman running home to her dog, Dolly Parton granted PETA permission to use her bluegrass song "Will He Be Waiting for Me?" The commercial serves as a reminder that dogs require companionship and suffer when left alone.
The new brand has launched collars, leashes, harnesses for their pets, stuffed chew toys in the shape of giant pink stilettos, denim and gingham bandanas, pink cowgirl hats encrusted with a tiara and even a blonde Dolly-style wig headpiece perfect for pups. Since Parton doesn’t have a dog right now, Billy the Kid, the dog of Parton’s manager, Danny Nozell, is the face of Doggy Parton. Parton has been spotted with Billy the Kid several times and sometimes sits next to her in interviews and meetings, according to Fox 5.