Brantley Gilbert

Brantley Gilbert Opens Up About His Late Dog Alley: I Know Our Sweet Girl Is in Heaven

Brantley Gilbert
Photos Courtesy of SpeedKore™

When country star Brantley Gilbert first saw his dog, Alley, more than a decade ago, he thought she was a malnourished puppy.

The singer was playing at a bar in south Georgia when he noticed “this beautiful dog” in the parking lot. “Her markings were gorgeous,” Gilbert, 34, tells PEOPLE for this week’s Sexiest Man Alive issue.

“People were getting ready to come inside and she was kind of hanging around, I guess because people had been giving her [food].”

Gilbert also noticed a man throwing beer bottles at Alley.

“We had … let’s call it a conversation,” he recalls with a laugh. “After that she ran right up to me in the alley, so that’s what I named her, and she’s been with me ever since.”

Rescuing Alley was a no-brainer for the singer. After their show, “we took her back to the hotel room and snuck her in,” Gilbert says. “We went and bought all the flea and tick stuff, and washed her three or four times. I put her in the bed on the floor, but when I woke up, she was in the bed with me, and I was covered in fleas.”

Back at home, Alley quickly settled in and became one of Gilbert’s closest confidants.

“She was just kind of protective,” he adds. “We found a lot of marks on her … I think she may have been used as a bait dog for fights because she was timid for a long time. But she was a baby doll.”

Real the full story on PEOPLE.com.

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