Al Roker shares that his beloved dog Pepper has died: “Our hearts are heavy”

Sad news from Al Roker today: his beloved rescue dog Pepper has died, the longtime Today weatherman revealed, sharing a sweet tribute on social media.

Roker announced the news earlier today, revealing that Pepper passed away yesterday, along with a slideshow of photos of the sweet dog over the years.

Like many grieving pet owners, Roker said he was sad his dog was gone but grateful for the many good years they had together.

“12 years ago, this sweet little girl named Pepper changed our lives,” Roker wrote. Yesterday, we had to say goodbye. While our hearts are heavy, they are also fuller because of all the love she bestowed on everyone who got to meet her.”

Roker and his wife, journalist Deborah Roberts, adopted Pepper from a Pennsylvania shelter in 2012.

Over the years, Pepper has been a favorite of Roker’s fans and has often appeared on the anchor’s social media pages.

Roker did not specify a cause of death, but Pepper underwent emergency surgery last month. Roker was absent from an episode of Today while his dog was on the mend. Pepper received an outpouring of prayers and support.

“We are grateful for any and all prayers for our sweet doggie who has stolen our hearts for 12 years now,” Deborah Roberts wrote at the time.

For many fans, perhaps the most memorable Pepper moment was when the dog appeared on Today during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, as Roker reported in from home.

“Pepper says she wants wants to lick your face, but will do it socially distant,” Roker told Hoda Kotbe with the dog in his lap.

Kotbe replied, “Watching you pet that dog makes me feel better.”

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