Dolly Parton on the Fate of 'Doggie Parton' & Why Tour Buses Beat Hotels

Dolly Parton
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Dolly Parton performs during a concert to benefit Dolly's Imagination Library & Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation at The University of Tennessee's Thompson-boling Arena on May 28, 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The country legend talks about the dog she helped rescue after her set at Glastonbury

This summer marks five decades since Dolly Parton hopped on a bus and headed to Music City. The Country Music Hall of Famer is still at it--and on one of the biggest hot streaks of her career. Her recent release, "Blue Smoke," became her highest-charting solo album ever on the Billboard 200, and she's been racking up acclaim and huge crowds during her world tour. In a teleconference last week from Stockholm, Sweden, Parton discussed the secret to her boundless energy and the fate of "Doggie Parton." 

In case you missed it, Doggie Parton was found separated from her owners after Parton played to 100,000 people at Glastonbury Festival. Parton considered adopting the dog, but now she happily reports the dog will soon return home. "We just got a call from the main people from the government, and they said that the true owners had come forward." Parton says the family had reported the dog missing, but there was a language barrier which slowed the return process. "But they got the dog back, and everyone feels good about it." 

Though she's happy "Doggie Parton" is back with her owners, she admits to getting attached. "I was looking forward to taking her home. I have been very instrumental in making sure she's been taken care of all the way through with her needs and the research. They thought she was seven, but she's actually 15-years-old. So the Happy Landing Shelter has a happy ending now," she says, referring to the shelter that was taking care of Doggie Parton. 

Parton stresses that she's not looking for another pet, but the circumstances spoke to her. "My heart went out to this particular dog. I just thought it was meant to be somehow. It was just so touching to me that she got lost at the festival where we were at. I was definitely going to make sure she was okay," Parton says. "I would have taken her and raised her. I'm thankful that everyone played their part, but I wasn't going to drop the ball...or the dog." 

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As far as that particular show, Parton was surprised at the 100,000 plus crowd--one of her biggest. "There were a lot of people there, but I enjoyed it. It didn't scare me. I look at the fans, and I love them all--100,000 or 10,000, I play to them all the same. I have to say there were more people than I've seen at one time. We enjoyed it, and got a lot of positive press. It makes me feel good that people accepted me that well."

On the tour, Parton had two identical tour buses lined up to get her between venues. As for her unique approach to overseas travel, she says, "I love living on the bus as opposed to going in and out of hotels, because I can keep all my things on the bus. We have two buses running all the time on these tours. If we have to fly from point A to point B, we always have one of the buses there, and they are both stocked almost identical. It just gives me a feeling of being home all the time. I'm just a gypsy, and this is my caravan."

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The crowds on her tour have responded well to her new song--as well as her classics. While one might think "I Will Always Love You" is her most recorded copyright, but she says "Jolene" would trump that from a number-of-recordings standpoint. "I am so proud of that song. A lot of people don't realize that's the song I have written that has been recorded the most by other artists. I still enjoy singing it, and I think a lot of people relate to it."

What's her secret for staying so energetic at this point in her career? "I have a good attitude, and I love my work. I think it's important that people stay busy and be creative. If you keep yourself busy, I don't think the years matter so much. Of course, as you get older, you notice little things. But that doesn't mean stop. You just take care of those things as you go along. I have good doctors, good makeup, and a good attitude, so whatever it takes to keep myself looking and feeling better, that's what I'm going to try to do from now on."

Parton wrapped her world tour yesterday at the Moon & Stars Festival in Locarno, Switzerland.