Duane "Dog" Chapman and Francie Frane are opening up more about their relationship as the Dog the Bounty Hunter star and his fiancée prepare for their nuptials and continue to grieve their late spouses. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Frane and Chapman revealed how her loss of husband Bob to cancer just six months before Dog would lose wife Beth Chapman to the same disease in June 2019 bonded them together.
After meeting when Dog reached out to Frane's late husband for landscaping work, the two quickly bonded over their mutual loss, with Dog telling ET he "knew right away this was love." Frane added, "We understood the pain that the other one was feeling and [in] those tough days and moments, we helped each other stand up. We could cry with each other and talk about what we were feeling. We were able to walk alongside each other through the pain and heartbreak and it brought us together in this amazing way."
While some people have criticized the pair for moving on so soon after the death of their spouses, Dog admitted he was "haunted" by Beth for "a bit," but ultimately know she guided him to Frane to prevent him from "dying of a broken heart." Frane continued, "We're both still grieving. We're never going to leave Bob and Beth behind [or] forget about them. They'll always be a part of us. We thought we were going to spend the rest of our lives with them and that's not what happened and we were dealt a really hard hand. Both of us had a decision to make – are we going to rise up from the ashes and get back to life and what Beth and Bob would have wanted from us?"
The rancher added that she understands the complicated feelings Dog the Bounty Hunter fans have about her, as Dog and Beth "built a legacy" with thousands of people. "So, I do understand the, ‘How could you do this so quickly?’ We didn't expect this either," she explained. "My son thought I was going to run off and be a missionary in Africa just not to deal with life without Bob anymore. Neither one of us were expecting what happened, but God brought us together and how it fell into place was a miracle."
Frane joked that her family was initially "shell-shocked" at his mom dating a reality star, but "now they love him," with her grandson calling him "Grandpa Dog" already. Frane has also helped the bounty hunter quit smoking and start eating better, resulting in him losing about 30 lbs. and lowering his blood pressure to normal ranges.