People.com Lifestyle Pets Brantley Gilbert Opens Up About His Late Dog Alley: I Know Our Sweet Girl Is in Heaven The country music star is featured in this year's Sexiest Man Alive issue with his late rescue pit-mix, Alley By Julie Jordan Julie Jordan Instagram Twitter Julie Jordan is an Editor at Large for PEOPLE. She has been with the brand for 25 years, holding various roles in the Los Angeles Bureau including Associate Bureau Chief. In 2006, she relocated to the Midwest where she continues to cover all things entertainment and Hollywood, including celebrity covers, features and specials such as Sexiest Man Alive and the Beautiful Issue.Prior to joining PEOPLE, Jordan freelanced for magazines such as SOUTHERN LIVING and graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism. She is well-versed in what it takes to be the Sexiest Man Alive (having interviewed 11 of them for their cover stories) and considers shooting a confetti cannon on-stage alongside Garth Brooks during his performance of "Friends in Low Places" a career highlight. People Editorial Guidelines Published on November 14, 2019 09:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email 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.” Heather Hazzan 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.” Watch the full episode of Sexiest Man Alive: Dudes and Dogs, streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device. Gilbert’s photo shoot with Alley at home in October for this year’s Sexiest Man Alive issue became a day that he will always cherish. “When PEOPLE invited me to be photographed with Alley, we had just found out she had cancer,” he explains. “Sadly she passed away shortly after, but I do believe all dogs go to heaven and I know our sweet girl is there now.” In her last week, Alley was “happy and comfortable” and at peace, surrounded by those she loved including the singer’s wife Amber and their two kids, Gilbert adds. “[We] let her do whatever the hell she [wanted].” For more on the Sexiest Man Alive – and all the hottest guys in Hollywood – click here and pick up this week’s issue, on stands Friday, Nov. 15!