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Beth Chapman lost her battle against cancer earlier this summer, and in the months since her death, her husband Duane “Dog” Chapman has been doing his best to move forward in the public eye. This is all while trying to promote his upcoming series with Beth, Dog’s Most Wanted, which also looks into Beth Chapman’s cancer fight.
Needless to say, it can be a lot to mourn, to work, and to have to see your wife on the small screen and relive all the moments, both good and bad, leading to her tragic death at age 51. When recently asked how he was handling being a mourning public figure, Dog Chapman gave a really honest answer. He said:
How am I doing? I was embarrassed last week to smile. I felt bad for smiling, because, ‘Oh he’s supposed to be, you know, mourning’ and I still am mourning, but I’m smiling also. I dunno. This is a thing I’m not used to. Going through this. So, each step I take I’ll be able to help others and/or get over it myself.
You’re being captured by cameramen, interviewers and photographers on a daily basis if you’re a reality star like Dog Chapman, and he says that burden can be difficult in a time of mourning, because he doesn’t really know how he’s supposed to be acting.
Dog the Bounty Hunter says Beth Chapman was the person who ultimately decided to show her cancer battle on the small screen as a way to raise awareness for what she was going through. He previously spoke out about her decision to do so, noting at the time he was “completely flabbergasted” by the way it all played out.
He said previously:
I would stand back and watch behind the camera, when the camera's pointing, and thinking, 'Dear God, I would not do this.' There's no way I would have done that. I would have, you know, 'Rest in peace, see you later.’
If you have been following the Chapman family through this journey, you’ll be able to see how her fight with cancer played out in raw detail as part of Dog’s Most Wanted, which also sees Duane Chapman working to take down criminals who have caused bodily harm to other individuals. The new show is different than taking on criminals who have simply jumped bail.
The first episode, which aired on September 4, featured Dog and his team tracking a father-son criminal duo in Hawaii, and the father was alleged responsible for dozens and dozens of crimes. During the episode, Beth Chapman also learned about her cancer diagnosis and spoke about the incurable nature of the disease now that it was in Stage 4. Beth Chapman fought throat cancer back in 2017 and during Dog & Beth: Fight of Their Lives, it seemed Beth had beat the disease. In the new episode of the latest show, we saw her speak out about the new diagnosis and explain she wanted to keep working, given there was nothing she could do to beat the disease.
While Beth Chapman is no longer with us, her presence is felt all over the new show, which also keeps Dog Chapman in the limelight during this time of mourning. From everything he's said in recent interviews, it sounds like he’s still figuring out how to make sense of Beth’s death and his future without her. Either way, he’ll likely continue to explore his feelings on and outside of TV. Mourning is different for everyone, however, and I'd expect it's particularly difficult for someone whose life is on camera.
Dog’s Most Wanted airs on WGN America on Wednesday nights.