Al Roker announces death of family dog, Pepper

Al Roker’s family dog, a small mixed breed named Pepper, died Monday, Roker announced on Instagram.

“[Twelve] years ago, this sweet little girl named Pepper changed our lives,” the “Today” show star wrote Tuesday. “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.”

Pepper was a routine presence of Roker’s oft-updated Instagram page, and Tuesday’s post included a video with cute photos of the pup.

Deborah Roberts, an ABC News correspondent and Roker’s wife, also shared a tribute to Pepper on Instagram.

Pepper stole the show and stole our hearts and those of so many friends and relatives. Even those who never liked dogs,” she wrote. “Pepper was different. The warmest companion anyone could ever ask for. (Apologies, Al).”

Five weeks ago, Roker shared on Instagram that Pepper underwent “emergency surgery,” but he did not reveal the exact procedure.

“She’s getting great care and is coming home tomorrow. Woof. You can sleep on our bed as much as you want,” he captioned the post.

The family adopted Pepper from a rescue shelter in Pennsylvania in 2012.

“The rescue coordinator had promised the perfect pup for us,” Roberts wrote Tuesday. “A beautiful mop looking mutt who would be gentle with kids.”

Pepper even made a guest appearance on “Today” during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, sitting on Roker’s lap as he did the weather forecast from home.

“Today I woke up to a world without her. A quiet house. Her toys and beds still. Yet, her warmth still lingering,” Roberts wrote. “Our hearts are aching. But wow. What a beautiful gift of memories she gave. We miss you dear Pep!”