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

The TODAY weatherman announced via Instagram that his family dog of 12 years, Pepper, recently passed away. 

By Chris Phelan

In a June 11 Instagram post, TODAY's Al Roker announced that his beloved dog, Pepper, had died. And true to form, America's favorite weatherman kept a positive attitude in his caption. 

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"Twelve years ago, this sweet little girl named Pepper changed our lives," Roker wrote alongside photos of Pepper. "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."

TODAY viewers know Roker has been giving frequent updates about Pepper lately. In May, he announced that the little pup was expected to make a full recovery from a recent emergency surgery.

"Our little girl, Pepper, had emergency surgery but is on the mend," Roker wrote at the time on IG. "She's getting great care and is coming home tomorrow. Woof. You can sleep on our bed as much as you want."

Al Roker speaks about his dog's passing on TODAY

Al Roker sits at the desk on Today

During the June 11 episode of TODAY, Roker was candid about the last few moments spent with his dog and was visibly emotional as he called the final few weeks with Pepper a "gift."

"She had really not been feeling well, but we were given this gift," he explained. "A couple of weeks ago, she had surgery and they said this is about as good as it's going to be."

RELATED: Al Roker's Adorable Granddaughter Sky Looks So Grown Up in New Photo: "My Girl"

Roker described sharing one last moment with Pepper a few days before she passed. "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."

RELATED: Al Roker Hugs a Tearful Sheinelle Jones as She Runs the NYC Marathon

"She brought so much to our lives," Roker added.

Roker's wife, news correspondent Deborah Roberts, also opened up about Pepper's passing on Instagram. 

"The warmest companion anyone could ever ask for (Apologies, Al)," she wrote. "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."

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