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Al Roker Gets Honest About Continuing to Mourn His Dog, Pepper: "I Lost It"

The TODAY weatherman announced the death of his beloved pet in June.

By Chris Phelan

June 17 was a difficult day for Al Roker.

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A week after announcing to the world that his beloved family dog, Pepper, had died, the TODAY icon took to social media to take a brave next step: Opening the box that contained Pepper's ashes.

The moment was emotional, but necessary, and the weatherman was unable to mince words. He confessed he "lost it" in the heart-wrenching Instagram caption:

"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 wrote.

While we're sure Pepper had a long, happy life over the course of her 12 years, her passing has had a profound effect on Roker. His social media activity — when he's not gushing over his adorable granddaughter — is frequently filled with sweet moments between him and his canine bestie. 

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Roker has been brutally honest about the ups and downs of Pepper's final few months. Between emergency surgeries, a cautiously optimistic prognosis, and navigating his already whirlwind TODAY schedule, Roker has kept viewers in the loop about his little friend's progress — but that doesn't mean he's feeling any less heartbroken.

On TODAY, Roker described sharing one final joyful moment with Pepper. 

"I started flinging the frisbee to her, and it was like she was back to being a puppy," he said. "And she was just, like, happy and running. She was going full tilt."

Al Roker's wife, Deborah Roberts, supports him through their dog's death

Al Roker and Deborah Roberts attend the premiere of "A Gentleman In Moscow"

Roker isn't the only one mourning their family pet. His wife of nearly 20 years, broadcast journalist Deborah Roberts, penned a fitting social media tribute to Pepper after the dog's passing.

"The warmest companion anyone could ever ask for (Apologies, Al)," she captioned. "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. We miss you, dear Pep."

RELATED: Al Roker Had a Magical, "Full Tilt" Moment With His Dog, Pepper, Before She Died

We're glad Roker isn't going through this challenging time alone. His relationship with Roberts is genuinely special — not many married couples get asked to co-give a university commencement address, after all!

The strength and support they give each other — whether it's during marathons or being there in times of sadness — is something we can all aspire to. 

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