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Al Roker speaks onstage during the Hudson River Park Friends 7th Annual Playground Committee Luncheon© Getty Images

Al Roker supported by Today Show family over heartbreaking Father's Day moment: 'Just lost it'

The NBC News meteorologist is a dad-of-three with wife Deborah Roberts

Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
June 17, 2024
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In the Roker household, Father's Day weekend proved to be a somber affair as the family continued to mourn the loss of their beloved pet pup, Pepper.

Al Roker, 69, took to his social media page Monday morning, before heading into Studio 1A for the Monday edition of the Today Show, to share a glimpse of the family's sadness.

He posted a photo of himself with his late dog, and then one of her final remains in an urn, including her paw print and a lock of her fur, and revealed that seeing it all made him emotional all over again.

"I opened up the box containing our sweet Pepper's remains last night and just lost it. She was such a dear little girl. We all miss her so much," he penned, receiving the support of Today family members like Craig Melvin and Katie Couric, and his wife Deborah Roberts' co-host David Muir.

Deborah, 63, did share a sweet tribute to Al and their children, 21-year-old Nick and 25-year-old Leila (he's also a dad to daughter Courtney from his first marriage), on Father's Day this Sunday.

"You show up with love, strength, wisdom, heart and humor. How blessed our children are. Happy Father's Day to you @alroker and all the fathers and father figures who show us what 'fathering' is all about," she gushed.

Al Roker with his late dog Pepper in a photo shared on Instagram© Instagram
Al with his late dog Pepper, shared after Father's Day weekend

When Pepper passed away last week, both Al and Deborah took to social media with heartbreaking statements, with the latter sharing a lengthy recounting of the family's history with Pepper and her place in their lives.

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"She arrived on my birthday. Wasn't even supposed to be ours. The rescue coordinator had promised the perfect pup for us. A beautiful mop looking mutt who would be gentle with kids," Deborah recalled. 

Al Roker shares a photo of his late dog Pepper's last remains on Instagram© Instagram
The Today Show anchor revealed he "lost it" after seeing her last remains

"Leila had pleaded for a while. Nick wasn't fond of dogs. But this 8-week old little black and white ball of fur brought along for the ride, jumped into Nick's lap and stole the show." 

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Pepper passed away at the age of 12, and was Deborah's pride and joy for over a decade. "A quiet sweetheart with large black, hypnotic eyes. Months later during the Christmas chaos of gift unwrapping, she pooped under the tree." 

Photo shared by Deborah Roberts on May 5, 2024 sharing with fans that her and Al Roker's dog Pepper had unexpectedly collapsed and was recovering after emergency surgery© Instagram
Pepper passed away earlier in the month, and both Al and Deborah shared heartbreaking statements

"We eeewwed and screamed and laughed. The unconditional love affair had begun. Soon, Pepper became my shadow. My girl. Next to me whenever and wherever. (The kitchen, the bathroom, the park)."

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She continued to gush: "How is it that a little spirit can so happily give and ask for nothing in return? Only loving hugs. Pepper stole the show and stole our hearts and those of so many friends and relatives. Even those who never liked dogs. Pepper was different."

Photo shared by Deborah Roberts on May 5, 2024 sharing with fans that her and Al Roker's dog Pepper had unexpectedly collapsed and was recovering after emergency surgery© Instagram
"How is it that a little spirit can so happily give and ask for nothing in return? Only loving hugs."

Deborah concluded with the devastating realization that her Pepper was no more. "Today I woke up to a world without her. A quiet house. Her toys and beds…still. No wagging tail. No begging for a belly rub. Yet, Her warmth still lingering. Our hearts are aching. But wow. What a beautiful gift of memories she gave."

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