There is a plan for you. Often, that plan isn’t something that you can clearly see. But it is there, nonetheless. And, it is just waiting for you to discover it. And that’s where the tough love of CMT’s most dangerous couple, Dog and Beth, comes in.
“As Americans and as humans, something dramatic has got to happen in our lives for us to turn right instead of continuing to go straight,” Duane “Dog” Chapman told Examiner during a recent interview. And, if Duane is nothing else, he’s dramatic. The champion of the hunt, the world’s greatest bounty hunter, Chapman is a wrangler of the Devil’s herd. He has devoted nearly 30 years of his life to hunting down some of the most dangerous individuals on the planet. And, luckily for the ravenous viewing public, many of those years have been documented on film. Currently, his saga continues on CMT (Saturdays at 9/8c and 10/9c) with his wife and family in the ever popular “Dog and Beth: On the Hunt.”
“It’ll be going on 13 years this August,” Dog noted. His voice was smooth and it hummed with the warmth of a lifelong close friend. Speaking of finding your path, being a celebrity was not something Duane ever considered to be in his cards. Actually, serving on the right side of the law was not even something that this now iconic, cultural hero had ever considered.
“I was convicted of a felony in Texas in 1977.” And, that was the dramatic moment that ultimately caused Duane to make his own turn to the right. “I am what rehabilitation stands for.”
The magic of the lasting series, as Dog sees it is, “I think it’s just the idea of a regular guy tracking people down. It’s like a cop show or a detective show. And, we grow with modern technology. We’ve got drones that we show on TV, they check the back door so if the guy runs, we’ve got him! We got a guy last week in Alabama and he told me, ‘This ain’t fair anymore Dog, you’re cheating!’ So I think that we’re keeping up with modern times because I haven’t had to jump the shark yet.”
But beyond that, there is the heart of the show, which is likely responsible for reeling in a viewership that is 61 percent female. Beneath the gruff exterior of a relentless tracker who hunts humans for a living, this man has the soul of an angel. The amount of times he has taken some of the most hardened criminals and shown them nothing but love and compassion can only be described as saintly. In fact, the bounty hunter turned born-again Christian revealed to Examiner that back in 2012, he was considering retiring so he could start preaching. Chances are, however, that Chapman is doing more good where he’s at because he is helping those who need help the most, watching over the ones that society has given up on.
In this new incarnation of the show, “Dog and Beth: On the Hunt,” Dog’s focus has shifted slightly. “We’re still bounty hunting, but we’re also going across the country helping to train different bounty hunters and bondsmen,” Dog informed. “After we retired from A&E, Chris Grant, who runs Electus (a production company), came to me and said, “There are kids getting killed out here. You guys birthed this baby, what if we got you a bus and you went around the country training these people?’ A number of bondsmen had already been asking us to do just that, so it all fell into place.”
The current season has another connecting point for viewers. This year, “Dog And Beth,” is delving deeper into the fact that, at its core, this is a family business. Besides Dog, Beth, Leland, and Dakota, there’s now Cecily. This season, viewers will get to watch her emotional trial by fire to find out if she’s got that special mix that is needed to do this type of work.
“Cecily is 22,” Dog stated. “She’s doing a great job! I’ve trained a lot of people in all the years that I’ve been doing this and some just can’t hack it. At an interview just the other day, I told someone he’d be better off getting a job at K-Mart. But not Cecily, she’s tough! I remember this one time when we were running up this hill and she’s shouting, ‘Dad, get out of my way!” he laughed.
There is an amazing transformation that takes place in Cecily between episode one and two of this season. In the premiere, you can read the anxiety coiled behind her eyes as she joins the hunt to track down a potentially dangerous guy who has been accused of making violent threats. But by episode two, she’s defying orders and taking down jumpers on her own, before backup even arrives!
“She’s got so much of her mother in her,” Chapman pointed out. “But I had to remind her, that’s why we pray, every time we do this, we pray first. If something happens and we meet Jesus in 20 minutes, you want to be sure that the last thing you were doing wasn’t getting drunk. I told her to just have faith and then get in there and get ‘em! Especially if it’s a girl, because I can’t touch a girl. Then I told her, after you catch them, you’ve got to forgive them in your heart. She told me, “I don’t forgive them until I see that they are really going to jail,” Dog related, laughing hard.
Next in line to join the team is the overly eager Garry Chapman, but he’s only fifteen, so it will be a few years before viewers get to watch his adventures.
In closing, Dog explained that in tonight’s episode, everything comes full circle as he goes back to where it all began: Texas. “I’m sitting there in the morning and all of a sudden, the dew started coming out and you get that smell of cotton, the smell of the fields, and I just broke down. Thirty-five years ago, I would have never dreamed this would be my life. Tonight’s show is one of the best shows we’ve ever filmed. And tonight, we’ve got Chris Janson, too. He is the newest up-and-coming country star. Chris is 17 and he’s got that song, ‘Buy Me A Boat.’ He wrote a song for me called ‘Outlaw Ways’ … You gotta hear it, man, you really gotta listen to the words because it’s my life. This song is really going to hit you hard.”
While you’re watching the double Dog marathon tonight on CMT (9/8c and 10/9c), don’t forget to Tweet along. Last week, #CMTDogAndBeth was number two in the nation on Twitter. This week, Beth wants it to be number one. And Beth is not someone you should disappoint. Ever! Dog, Beth, Cecily, and the rest of the crew will be right there tweeting along with you for the entire two hours of both episodes tonight. So, plan accordingly, don’t let the team down!
“Dog And Beth: On the Hunt”: website • Facebook • Twitter (CMT)