“She’s a blessing and is helping my dad heal day by day,” she said about Francie Frane

By Tomás Mier
May 04, 2020 08:24 PM
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Bonnie and Duane Chapman
| Credit: Bonnie Chapman Instagram; Scott Olson/Getty Images

Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman’s daughter Bonnie wants people to “let him be happy.”

After the Dog’s Most Wanted star shared the shocking news of his engagement to girlfriend Francie Frane just 10 months after his wife Beth’s death, Duane’s daughter Bonnie defended him from critics on his Instagram post.

"My father has gone through so much this past year without my mother. It's been extremely difficult to see one parent pass, and the other so intent on following. My father deserves to be happy,” she wrote in a lengthy comment on Instagram.

“He's still got my mother's name on his chest. He'll never forget her and the love she gave him. She would be happy my father is in love and finding peace," continued Bonnie.

Duane Chapman and fiancée Francie Frane
| Credit: Francie Frane/Instagram

"Life has never been easy for my dad, but love is something that comes naturally to him,” she continued.

In a reply to one fan, Bonnie wrote that while she misses her mother every day, “I know that she sent Francie.” She also called her father’s fiancée a “wonderful woman.”

“She’s a blessing and is helping my dad heal day by day,” she wrote.

Bonnie also addressed the fact that her late mother had initially wished for Duane to not remarry after her passing before explaining that “her feelings changed as her condition worsened.”

Credit: Instagram
Credit: Instagram

“For those who claim to know my mother's wishes: please remember that we as a family went through every excruciating and painful detail of what was next,” she wrote in her comment. “I had this talk with her, my mother had so much love for my father, she would never want him to be alone. My mom wanted him to be happy no matter what. There is always going to be one and only one Mrs. Dog."

Credit: Instagram

“Welcome to the pack, Francie,” she ended the main note.

Bonnie added that her sister, Lyssa (whom she refers to as Lisa in the reply), feels the same way about their father's new love.

Credit: Instagram

“Lisa is very happy, we all want to see dad happy, he’s happy with Francie,” she wrote.

On Monday, PEOPLE confirmed the news of Duane's engagement after a rep said the two are "very happy and looking forward to a long life together."

"I wasn't expecting it at all," Frane, a 51-year-old rancher from Colorado, told The Sun U.S. "I think I had gone to pick up some food and then when I came back he had all the lights turned down with just a few lights on and a bunch of candles lit."

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The couple said they'll begin planning their wedding once the coronavirus pandemic passes so they can tie the knot so that all of their family members can be in attendance.

"I scream & Cry Beth where are you why did you leave me then I look up & see you Francie & the pain turns to a smile I LOVE YOU WOMAN !!" Duane captioned a photo of Frane on Instagram in late April.

Duane's wife Beth died last June at the age of 51 after being diagnosed with stage II throat cancer in 2017.

In an interview with The Sun U.S. in March, Duane said he and Frane have bonded over their shared grief of losing a spouse to cancer. Frane’s late husband Bob died months before Beth.

“I know that when I start to feel bad about Beth and it’s overwhelming, Francie seems to show up and that helps the kids,” Duane said. “And I feel that Beth expects her to show up to take care of me. And Bob, Francie’s late husband, expects me to be a man and a gentleman and so I am.”

Asked if he thinks he’ll marry Frane, Duane said, “There will never be another Mrs. Dog but it looks like there will be a final Mrs. Chapman.”