Doris Day "had difficulty accepting death"
The 'Calamity Jane' actress - who passed away this week from pneumonia - didn't like thinking about what life would be like for her animals without her around because she found it morbid and struggled to accept she wouldn't live forever
17 May 2019
Doris' manager and close friend Bob Bashara told PEOPLE: "She didn't like death, and she couldn't be with her animals if they had to be put down. She had difficulty accepting death. I'd say we need to provide for her dogs [after she died], and she'd say: 'I don't want to think about it' and she said: 'Well, you just take care of them.' She had several when her will was written, and she wanted to be sure they were taken care of. She didn't like to talk about the dogs dying."
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The Hollywood legend - who was an animal activist - decided against having a funeral and memorial before her passing and asked that fans who wanted to pay their respects do so by visiting her eponymous animal foundation.
However, Bob believes one of the reasons she was reluctant to have a burial was because she was actually a really "shy person" who hated to have attention on her.
He explained: "I think it was because she was a very shy person.
"She never let her celebrity affect her and who she was, and she was always the little girl from Cincinnati who was extraordinarily talented and went out in the world and did what she loved to do despite herself.
"She was guileless, and I had discussions with her about how popular she was, and she would say, 'I don't understand it' about why she was so loved. She knew her fans loved her from all the letters, and that meant a lot to her."
The Doris Day Animal Foundation announced that she had died on Monday (13.05.19) at the age of 97 after contracting a "serious case of pneumonia."
They said in a statement: "Day had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia, resulting in her death.
"She was surrounded by a few close friends as she passed."