Country singer Dolly Parton says she believes God used her dog Popeye to keep her from killing herself.
In a new tell-all book, Dolly on Dolly: Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton, Parton looks back on a life that involved binge-eating, cheating on her husband and almost committing suicide.
The 71-year-old says she and her husband of 51 years, Carl Dean, are doing well now, but that hasn't always been the case.
The Daily Mail reports that marriage problems back in the '80s led Parton to go astray and fall in love with someone else.
The Grammy-Award winning musician writes that the affair ended badly and left her with a broken heart, according to ChristianToday.com.
One night, sitting in her bedroom, she took out the gun she kept to protect herself.
"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, out little dog, Popeye, came running up the stairs," Parton said.
"The tap-tap of his paws jolted me back to reality, I suddenly froze. I put the gun down," she added.
Then, Parton started to pray. She promised God she wouldn't turn to suicidal thoughts again.
"I kinda believe Popeye was a spiritual messenger from God," the singer said. "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."
The "Queen of Country Music" speaks often about her faith and how much it has impacted every aspect of her life.
"A belief in God is essential," she said.
"You have to believe in something bigger than yourself. We grew up believing that through God all things are possible. I think I believed that so much that I made it happen."
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