2018 has been a rollercoaster of emotion for country music star RaeLynn! The Voice alum kicked off the year by performing at The Island in Pigeon Forge’s New Year’s Eve celebration, but all of the excitement proved too much for her pet chihuahua, “Dolly.” When fireworks erupted over Pigeon Forge early in the morning on January 1st, the loud noise frightened little Dolly so much that the dog bolted from the singer’s tour bus.
We are pleased to report that after three days on the lam, Dolly is safe, sound, and back in RaeLynn’s arms! Read on to learn all about Dolly’s adventures in Pigeon Forge and the star-studded campaign to rescue her.
Todd Chrisley Offers a $5,000 Reward
When Dolly went missing, RaeLynn received a helping hand from her friend Todd Chrisley, the star of the popular reality show Chrisley Knows Best. Todd took to Facebook to offer a generous reward for anyone who found the missing pup:
“My sweet @raelynnofficial has lost her precious Dolly in the Gatlinburg /Pigeon forge area last night and she is devastated , if anyone can return Dolly to @raelynnofficial I will personally reward you with a 5000 dollar payment , if anyone has seen Dolly please let’s help bring her home.”
Dolly Parton Tweets About Dolly the Dog
Chrisley wasn’t the only celebrity to get the word out about Raelynn’s lost dog. The search for Dolly received a major signal boost when the chihuahua’s namesake took up the cause on Twitter:
PIGEON FORGE AND GATLINBURG! @RaeLynn’s precious baby dog named DOLLY has gone missing out that way. Please be on the lookout for this sweet thing and contact RaeLynn if you spot her. There’s a $5,000 reward for her safe return! pic.twitter.com/KcUnoO6W6b
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) January 3, 2018
“PIGEON FORGE AND GATLINBURG! @RaeLynn’s precious baby dog named DOLLY has gone missing out that way. Please be on the lookout for this sweet thing and contact RaeLynn if you spot her. There’s a $5,000 reward for her safe return!”
Missing Chihuahua Seen Around Town
Dolly (the dog, not the country star) was first spotted in Pigeon Forge on the morning of January 2nd. The chilly chihuahua was seen snuggling up with a blanket on someone’s front porch, but, unfortunately, Dolly made a break for it when the residents of the home attempted to pick her up.
After this close encounter, RaeLynn made a quick trip back to her home in Nashville in order to pick up Dolly’s doggie bed and blankets. The singer hoped that these familiar items would help draw the lost dog back to safety.
Dolly’s Dramatic Rescue
Ultimately, it was an anonymous tip on the afternoon of January 3rd that proved decisive in the quest to rescue the pup. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, a caller contacted The Island’s ticket center around 2 p.m. to let them know that a chihuahua was hanging around the parking lot of the American Eagle Foundation, a non-profit that rehabilitates bald eagles in Pigeon Forge.
Five employees from The Island rushed over to the AEF to catch Dolly before she left. Together with staff members from the Eagle Foundation, The Island’s team surrounded the dog. In order to calm the agitated chihuahua down, someone called RaeLynn and put her on speakerphone. When Dolly heard the soothing sound of her owner’s voice, she stopped barking and was eventually captured. Dolly became even more relaxed after she was wrapped in the blanket RaeLynn had brought from Nashville.
A Big Thank You from RaeLynn
RaeLynn was absolutely thrilled to be reunited with her beloved dog. The singer posted a heartfelt thank you to Dolly’s rescuers on Instagram:
“My HEROS. Matt, Caitlin, Amy, Josh and not pictured Chrissy also Cassie who spotted her in front of her store. Thank you to @theislandpf for having the best group of people! They didn’t want the 5k reward they were just looking out of the kindness of their hearts. The first of many miracles in 2018. Dolly survived 3 nights in single digit weather. She is a fighter…Mommy is on her way baby.”
Dog Friendly Things to Do in Pigeon Forge
While Dolly may not have had the best time in Pigeon Forge, the Smokies are actually a very dog friendly place (at least for pups that don’t run away)! If you’re planning a vacation with your furry pal, check out our guide to the Top 3 Pet Friendly Places in the Smoky Mountains.