Imelda May has paid tribute to her dog Alfie and revealed that the pet saved her daughter’s life when she was a newborn.
The Irish singer-songwriter, 45, said the dog, who died on May 9 aged 13, alerted her when her daughter pulled a plastic bag over her face.
Alfie, who toured with May and was beloved by stars including Jools Holland and Sir Terry Wogan, kept whimpering until she ran to find her child unable to breathe.
Speaking days after Alfie’s death, May told the PA news agency: “He saved my daughter’s life when she was a newborn.
“She had pulled a plastic bag on to her face and he would not stop – like Lassie – getting me, running back and forward, whimpering until I followed him and I saw the plastic bag over her face.
“I do owe him a hell of a lot.”
May is spending lockdown with her boyfriend and daughter, who is now seven.
She had the dog cremated and plans to keep hold of his ashes in case she moves house.
“I can’t cope with letting him go totally, so I have decided to just keep them,” she said.
She added: “I had him since before I did well in the business. I was gigging and gigging and gigging and working in the nursing home. I had him for all of that.
“He came on tour. He had his own bunk on the tour bus.
“He had his own laminates for Glastonbury, even though they say you can’t bring dogs.
“We had to OK it all before hand.
“He went to Glastonbury, T In The Park, he was in BBC studios, he was at my feet for recording most of my albums. He was certainly at my feet for writing all of them.
“He was in Abbey Road, he was the only dog they would allow into the Royal Albert Hall.”
She also quipped that he was “the best man I had ever lived with”.
May recently released an album of her poetry, titled Slip Of The Tongue, which tackles themes including lockdown, domestic abuse and family.
It features a poem, written during the coronavirus pandemic, called Stay.
Speaking about the lyric, she said: “We seem to have this machine where we have no worth unless we are productive.
“I think this continued for a little while during lockdown. I must do this and I must do that. I must learn a language, I’m going to plant potatoes and sort my garden.
“That may be the whole point of this – to not be productive. Maybe that’s the point.
“Maybe we should take that from this, that wasting time is time never wasted.
“It’s normally those things that you have memories of, the joking around and chatting and sitting reading a book or having a coffee or lying on your back and looking up at the clouds.
“Maybe that’s better than getting stuff done. And that’s what the poem is about.
“We started off really quickly, but maybe we were already not able to keep up.
“Maybe it’s to stop and think and take the time and learn from it in some way. We have to learn from it.”
– Slip Of The Tongue is out now.