Inside Dog The Bounty Hunter's emotional private memorial for late wife Beth's one year anniversary

DOG The Bounty Hunter gathered with close friends and family for a heartbreaking private ceremony to mark the one year anniversary of his beloved Beth's death.

The Sun was granted special access to the poignant event, in which Dog – real name Duane Chapman – filled one of Beth's inflatable rafts with her favorite flowers, belongings and her photo, before taking it to one of her favorite beauty spots, where he set it free to float down the river.

Dog, 67, was supported by his fiance Francie Frane and daughter Bonnie as they held a "celebration of life" for his late wife, who tragically died last June after battling throat and lung cancer.

He picked the spot on the South Platte River in Deckers, Colorado as it was one of Beth's favorite places – where they used to spend a happy Father's Day weekend every year and she would float in the river and he would fish.

It was a day of mixed emotions, as Dog and his guests shed a tear for Beth, while remembering happy moments from her life.

Dog admitted he still could not believe Beth was "never coming home" and a whole year had passed since her death.

He also paid tribute to his fiance Francie – saying he could not have coped without her help.

In an exclusive interview, Dog said: "In a lot of religions and a lot of beliefs, they mark it as a tradition on the one year date that someone has passed away.

"So sticking with tradition we are having this memorial for Beth Chapman.

"We had two send-offs when she passed away, one in Hawaii and one in Colorado.

"[My daughter] Cecily is doing the one in Hawaii where they all paddle out and she said a thousand or more people showed up.

"Every Father's Day, Beth would like to come to this river and come down in the exact raft you can see here.

"I would always sit here – cold, wet, raining – she always went. Usually the weather stayed fine. But she loved it, we went five or six times.

"She'd go down and then I'd pick her up at the end of the road. I'd wait like half hour and then go pick her up.

"Then she'd say, 'Do it again, do it again' – it's like a kid on a rollercoaster – they won't get off.

"So today I think it's a good tradition that we do for Beth.

"And I brought Francie along and I brought my sister Michelle and I'm not sure I could have done this alone without Francie.

"I can't believe it's been a whole year and she's never coming home.

"So we have to do the memorial and not be too over-sad and then we'll watch the next generation go down the South Platte River."

Dog also spoke about how his large family had become closer as they help each other through the grieving process.

"So how the family has got through this is joining and staying more together," he said.

"If I don't call one of them and they don't call me they think I've abandoned them.

"So it has brought our family closer together.

"I think this is a really nice thing to do for Beth and she would be so proud we thought of this."

Other guests at the intimate gathering included his granddaughter Abbie and his niece Bridget, along with some close friends.

They filled Beth's float with Hawaiian flowers, rose petals and one of her trademark cowboy hats and watched it float down the river.

More than 3,000 miles away in Hawaii, Dog's daughters Cecily and Lyssa held a public memorial to Beth, where they went on some of Beth's favorite hikes and organized a paddle-out on Waimanalo Bay, one of Beth's favorite beaches.

Earlier this week, Dog had asked fans to post photos in honor of Beth to mark the anniversary.

He wrote on social media: "Go on a walk, hike, and take a picture. Let’s make it viral.

"Post a picture on all your social media accounts using the #fortheloveofbeth hashtag!!!! Please share and spread the word!"

Beth was first diagnosed with stage two throat cancer in November 2017 and it later worsened to stage four.

Dog sadly confirmed her passing on Twitter last June, writing: "It’s 5:32 in Hawaii, this is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain.

"Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side."

Dog and Beth had been married since 2006 but had been dating on-and-off since meeting in 1986.

Dog began dating 51-year-old rancher Francie Frane earlier this year, and The Sun first reported news of their engagement in May.

Describing the beginnings of her and Dog's love story, Francie told The Sun: "In June of last year, I was six months into my grieving and my really close girlfriend and I went to Arizona together with her mom.

"We were in the hotel room and my girlfriend was listening to some worship music on YouTube and she said to me, 'Oh my gosh, Beth Chapman passed away two days ago. I had no idea. She had throat cancer.’

"And I said, 'Oh my gosh, that's so sucky. I hate cancer'. We had that conversation for a minute and then I said to her, 'Who's Beth Chapman?’

"And she goes, 'Dog The Bounty Hunter's wife, you don't know who that is?' And I was like, 'No, I don't know who Dog The Bounty Hunter is.'"

Francie recalled her friend saying that somehow, someway she was going to “get together” with Dog.

A few weeks later, she and Dog ended up on the phone together after the reality star left a voicemail for Francie's late husband Bob – before he realized he had died.

The pair ended up chatting for over an hour about how they had both lost their spouses to cancer.

Eventually, that bond turned into a romance of their own.

Dog has previously described Francie as a "miracle" and told how while they'll never be another "Mrs Dog" he wants Francie to become "the last Mrs Chapman".

"It's a God relationship because it's just like a miracle," he said.

"It's a miracle how we met and it's a miracle how great we're getting along."

He added: "It's a very real love that we are developing with each other.

"Both of us are allowed to talk about our spouses that are in Heaven – it's not like we're afraid to mention it or anything like that.

"We console each other but we also know that we have a responsibility and that is to do this right."

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