You know, it's just a few weeks [ago] that I lost three [dogs] in a week. It's so hard; they should live forever. It's terrible their lifeline is so short. They're so precious. They just go so soon. I have a feeling that you love them the way I do.
I do. I am very sorry to hear about your dogs. I keep all my dogs' ashes, and when it's my turn, we'll all be mixed in together.
You're from Cincinnati, and on this CD is the song "Ohio" -- "Why oh why oh why oh did I ever leave Ohio?" Then you lived for years in Beverly Hills, and now Carmel. Why oh why oh why oh did you ever leave Beverly Hills?
I loved it there. It was so comfortable and the days were lovely, but then it started changing so much. I wanted to be in a small town.
When Terry and I started walking around, up and down the streets [in Carmel], we didn't see any dogs. I looked at him and said, "You know, this is not a dog town."
And that's when I decided to get involved with the hotel [the Cypress Inn in Carmel, where pets are now allowed]. We found out that the gentleman who owned it decided he would like to have a partner, and that's how I brought all the dogs in.
Do you miss anything about performing?
I really enjoyed films. And I was kind of homesick to think about doing some films. [But] I just got so involved with animals that I didn't. I loved it here, and my son was here, and I could have all the doggies I wanted, and cats, so it's better to be here than in L.A., I think.
You're associated with a lot of classic songs.
There were times when I wasn't too thrilled about the songs, but we had to do them because Columbia [Records] said, "You have to." But I was definite about doing the best that I could, and hav[ing] fun with it.
Would you name one you didn't like?
I lost those titles! I don't know where they went!
Do you sing to yourself?
Oh any time, and anywhere.
What do you sing?
Anything that I know. I knew just about every song there was, but I don't now.
"Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries'' -- also on the CD -- is one you've been singing for more than 70 years.
When I was a teeny little girl, I was in dancing school, and I sang. We had to put a dance to a song, so I went to the 10-cent store one day and looked at all the sheet music.
It was all laid out, and I picked "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries." I asked the lady [working in the store] if she could play that for me; this little elderly lady played "da, da, da, da, da, doo, doo.''