Even as she lay dying, Beth Chapman was trying to comfort those around her.
"The last few moments she said, 'Come in here right now, in the bathroom,'" Duane recalled. "I went in and she said, 'Look at me.' And I said, 'Yeah, you're freaking beautiful, baby.' (And she said,) 'Look at me, Duane Chapman.' And I did, I always saw Beth, and she said, 'Please, let me go.'
"And I didn’t even make a decision," he added. "I almost said, ‘I can’t.’ Before I could say, ‘All right,’ she couldn’t breathe and I called the ambulance."
Beth, who starred alongside Duane in "Dog the Bounty Hunter" and "Dog and Beth: On the Hunt," was diagnosed with stage 2 throat cancer in 2017. The cancer returned last fall. She died June 26 at age 51.
In her final days, the Chapman family matriarch advised her husband on how to keep going without her by his side.
"(E)very day she talked as if she was not there. 'Here's what to do with this, here's what to do with that. Don't keep running your mouth. When they ask you a specific question, just answer that,'" recalled Duane, 66, to Entertainment Tonight.
After receiving her cancer diagnosis two years ago, Beth talked candidly with Duane about matters of the heart.
"For two to three years, she knew this might happen. So she would say, 'Who is going to sit next to you?' And I said, 'No one,'" he tearfully recalled.
At one point, she told him, "Big Daddy, you better not let another girl take my place."
"I won't," Duane replied.
Though his late wife did her best to help him, Duane still wasn't prepared to say goodbye.
"You can't prepare," he said. "There is no way. I did not know that this was going to happen that day."
Now, the reality TV vet is simply trying to stay strong for those around him.
"I have a lot of people who depend on me," he shared. "All my supervisors said, 'Dog, it's time to man up.' So I'm trying to man up."