She continued, “I really wasn’t happy about that at all. Wasn’t the town I knew.”

Day was honest about the likelihood of a return to Hollywood, saying she hadn’t “thought much about it.” Still, that was an opportunity she never fully closed the door on.

“But I wonder if I would, you never know. You never about me, and I never know about me!” she said, although Day admitted she didn’t care much for the Hollywood spotlight.

“If I had stayed in LA, I might play a grandmother in a movie, who knows,” she added.

As Day’s longtime friend and costar in

RELATED: Inside Doris Day’s Long-Lasting Friendship with Rock Hudson and Final Goodbye

Day instead focused on her love of animals as she stepped away from the limelight. She became a staunch animal welfare activist, establishing the Doris Day Animal Foundation in 1978.

“Well I’ve always loved animals but then when I was traveling with bands I certainly couldn’t have a pet, because I would have to leave it in a hotel room and I wouldn’t trust it there,” Day said. “One of the housemaids coming in, the door would open, my dog could get out the door. There was no way! I tried to figure it out but there was no way I could have a doggie.”

RELATED: The Biggest Bombshells from Doris Day’s Autobiography: Dating Ronald Reagan and More

She continued, “The minute I gave up band singing and went into a film in Los Angeles, I had a dog within two days! A big beautiful black poodle. And then I had another poodle, a girl, to go with him. And from then on I had a lot more, but don’t tell anyone. My secret!”

As for what life taught her at the time, Day said, “To live it to the fullest, you bet.”

“Live it, and have fun, enjoy each day. You know, it’s not coming back again and enjoy each day,” she said. “I’m looking out and the sun is shining and it’s so pretty in the garden, what’s not to love?”

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