NEW YORK — Duane “Dog” Chapman has had a difficult past year. But following in his wife’s example, he presses on.
His wife, Beth Chapman, passed away in June in Hawaii after fighting lung cancer. Their new television series, “Dog’s Most Wanted,” airs on Sept. 4 on WGN America.
It will not only follow their bounty hunter chronicles as they search for convicts, but also Beth’s journey as she starts chemotherapy and fights cancer. On Beth’s decision to keep working, Chapman says, “it helped her.”
“She forgot one night. She told me, ‘Honey, I forgot I had cancer today,’” said Chapman. “So, it was working where she wasn’t reminded or laying around on the bed or watching television and reminded every few minutes that she had a terminal disease — so, out hunting and being with the family, she forgot about it.”
The Chapman’s bounty hunting operation also includes their children. The family is all coping with Beth’s death.
“I won’t say it’s drawn the family closer, OK? Or I won’t say that it’s tore the family up, which some deaths do, right?” said Chapman. “It has made us realize how lucky we were to have a mom and how, the only way we can keep her alive is our mouth and our memories and talking about her all the time.”
With the series premiere on the horizon, Chapman hopes to draw a wide audience, but it’s not about the money. “I already got paid for the shows before they aired,” he joked. He hopes viewers watch his love story with his wife.
“I want them to watch because of me and Beth and my children and my good friends,” he said. “And I want them to see hope and love, and cry.”
And what does Dog want viewers to remember about Beth? “I want people to see how brave she was, how perfect she was.”