Lisa Vanderpump is setting the record straight about her role on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

The restaurateur, 58, spoke to PEOPLE and other reporters on Thursday on the red carpet of her third annual Vanderpump Dog Foundation Gala, held at the Taglyan Cultural Complex in Los Angeles, California. And though she admitted that she’s missed some of the filming of the show’s upcoming ninth season, she made it clear that she was still very much a cast member.

“There’s a plethora of stories that say I’m quitting. If I had quit, I would have said it,” Vanderpump said. “It wouldn’t be leaked on an outlet. Can we just trust that I would come up … I’ve never had a problem with kind of coming forward, speaking my mind.”

“I am in this season,” she added. “Obviously there are some parts I missed and you’ll see why. I think maybe we’ll have a better understanding when you watch the show.”

Vanderpump Rules - Season 5
Lisa Vanderpump
| Credit: Tommy Garcia/Bravo/NBCU/Getty Images

Asked if she would come back for season 10, Vanderpump said that it was too soon to know — though hinted that her personal attitude doesn’t fall inline with the conflict that’s often found on the show.

“It’s like saying am I going to a Christmas party next year,” she explained. “You don’t know, do you? You don’t know if you’re going to be invited back. You don’t know if they’re going to do the show. So that’s a little hypothetical, really. I really don’t know. Each year changes.”

“If the timing was right and I felt good about it, sure, but I just… I’m not that combative, frankly!” she added. “I think you’ve seen that.”

Kyle Richards, Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave, Lisa Vanderpump, Erika Girardi, Dorit Kemsley, and Lisa Rinna in season 8 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
| Credit: Tommy Garcia/Bravo

Alongside Kyle Richards, Kim Richards, Taylor Armstrong, Camille Grammer, and Adrienne Maloof, Vanderpump was one of the founding cast members on RHOBH when the sixth installment of franchise premiered in October 2010. She’s appeared as a full-time cast member every season since, and has launched a successful spinoff series called Vanderpump Rules — which focuses on the lives of the staff working at her restaurant, SUR.

The next season of that reality show premieres in December, and will document (in part) the opening of Vanderpump’s latest restaurant and bar, TomTom.

3rd Annual Vanderpump Dog Foundation Gala, Los Angeles, USA - 15 Nov 2018
Lisa Vanderpump
| Credit: MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock

Vanderpump is also opening the new Vanderpump Cocktail Garden on the Las Vegas strip in early 2019.

“I’m excited to do it,” she said on Thursday. “[Vegas] is such an experience … you go into this magical fantasy land! It’s such a compliment to be invited to do it. … It’s going to be great. It’s going to be like the cocktail garden and I’m sure if we’re doing Vanderpump Rules that will be featured on it. It’s going to be just another kind of feather in our cap.”

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Meanwhile, Vanderpump has also been grieving after the loss of her older brother Mark, who died in April.

“It’s been a devastating couple of weeks … one day at a time … I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your love and support,” she wrote on Instagram in May. “Love Lisa xo.”

Mark’s sons were at Thursday’s Vanderpump Dogs Gala with Lisa. “They live in England, but you know, I’m close with them and obviously I think we hold onto each other,” she told reporters. “It’s been difficult.”

VanderpumpPets' Photo Shoot
Lisa Vanderpump
| Credit: Vincent Sandoval/WireImage

Helping take her mind off of her pain has been her charity work for dogs. Thursday’s Gala raised funds for the Vanderpump Dog Foundation, her nonprofit that was instrumental in helping implement laws condemning dog meat trade all over the world. “They’re our pets,” Vanderpump said. “They’re not supposed to be eaten.”

Lately, the foundation has also been involved in helping animals during the deadly California fires

“We’ve been trying to place dogs — take them into the shelter, take them into the rescue center,” she said. “We’ve been doing as much as we can and also then we put out on social media we needed fosters. We had a lot of replies, so we’re trying to really do kind of what we can do, but obviously events like this tonight … make a huge difference.”