Dolly Parton tried to shoot herself after her affair came to an end - but her dog intervened at the last minute and stopped her from pulling the trigger.

The '9 To 5' hitmaker has revealed she sunk so deep into a depressive state when the secret relationship she was having with a man - whose identity is not known - came to an end that she considered ending her own life until her pet pooch Popeye came running up the stairs just as she lifted the firearm out of her bedside drawer.

Writing in her new book 'Dolly on Dolly', obtained by the DailyMail.com, she said: ''I was sitting upstairs in my bedroom one afternoon when I noticed in the night-stand drawer my gun that I keep for burglars. 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 and I suddenly froze. I put the gun down. Then I prayed. I kinda believe Popeye was a spiritual messenger from God.''

Although she's convinced her little Boston Terrier ultimately saved her life, she doesn't think she would have gone through with the suicide anyway.

She explained: ''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 71-year-old singer is adamant she'll never reveal the identity of her mystery man, but it's believed her lover may have been Gregg Perry.

She added: ''I cried an ocean. But I ain't gonna talk about it any more. I've got to keep some mystery.''

Dolly - who has had an ''open'' relationship with her husband Carl Dean for more than 50 years - was thought to be in her 30s when she had the affair.