Courtesy of Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton + More on the Joy of Dogs, Fluffy Fashionistas and the Doggone Fun of New Variety Special 'Dolly Parton's Pet Gala'

The two-hour special, now streaming on Paramount+, is a howling good time.

Dolly Parton and dogs — there may be no combo more universally beloved. So it's fitting that the country legend brought her own joy and pun-filled, rhinestone-bedazzled, fur-covered two-hour variety special to CBS to celebrate our four-legged friends. "Dolly Parton's Pet Gala," now streaming on Paramount+, features the best in dog fashion, including her own Doggy Parton line.

During the show, the pooches rule the runway, rocking looks with everything from Parton's current Rockstar era to a retrospective on the "9 to 5" singer's own iconic fashion through the years.

DOLLY PARTON'S PET GALA, a variety special featuring musical performances and a one-of-a-kind runway, airs Wednesday, Feb. 21 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network, and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs)*. Musical performances include Dolly Parton and Carly Pearce singing

Jon Morgan/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Dolly Parton's pet gala

Jon Morgan/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Of course, there's also plenty of music, including Parton's performances of her early hit "Puppy Love," which she wrote with her uncle Bill when she was just 11 years old; "I Will Always Love You," as a duet with Lainey Wilson; and "Jolene." There also were tunes from artists such as Joy Oladokun, who performed her song "If You Got a Problem"; and Chris Janson, who delivered a very fitting cover of "Hound Dog" (featuring his own hound dog, Willie).

But in addition to the rhinestones, fringe and songs about hound dogs performed for actual hound dogs, the special also honors dogs that are true heroes.

Dolly Parton's Pet Gala

Jon Morgan/CBS ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In an interview on the pink carpet, Parton shared why it was important for the special to showcase both the cuteness and courage of our furry friends.

"The [variety show] is going to be so much fun," Parton tells Wide Open Country. "It covers all the fashion, all the cuties. But we're also doing serious stories about serious dogs that do other things — the military dogs, the service dogs, the bomb sniffing dogs and all the different things."

Celebrities such as Kristen Bell, Drew Barrymore, Kristin Chenoweth, Carson Kressley, Margaret Cho, Kelly Osbourne, Grace Bowers, Iain Armitage and Jessica Simpson make appearances, as do the guests of honor: "fluffy fashionistas" who've taken social media by storm, such as Doug the Pug and Tika the Iggy.

Actor, comedian and singer Jane Lynch, who served as co-host for the evening, spoke about what she's learned from her extensive time as a devoted dog parent.

"I get very co-dependent toward them," Lynch tells Wide Open Country. "I got my first dog as an adult after doing ["Best in Show"] and have had dogs ever since. ... I think they are God's gift to us because the unconditional love is off the charts and dogs make us better people. They really do."

Bowers, a  17-year-old guitar virtuoso who performs during the "Pet Gala," shared something she's learned from her own dog, George.

"From George, I have learned from watching him sleep all day that it's OK to take a break," Bowers says, laughing. "That's a good lesson I've learned from George."

Osbourne — a TV personality, fashion designer, actor and dog lover — shared a bit of dog parenting wisdom that should connect with anyone who's ever cared for a pet.

"I'm the one that needs training; it's not the dog," Osbourne says. "Because dogs are easy — it's us that make it complicated because we love them so much."


READ MORE: Dolly Parton Wants to Hold Casting Contest for Broadway Musical About Her Life