Kids Wish Network Grants This 12 Year Old Her Wish to Meet Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman, and This is What She Asked Him

Cystic fibrosis patient Maria Yasmin Canales chats with her hero Dog about life in paradise, climbing Koko Head crater and tackling fear.
Duane Chapman, Maria Yasmin Canales and Beth Chapman met at Da Kine Bail Bonds in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sept. 4. Chapman taught Canales how to shaka. 
Photos: Diane Lee

Most kids often wish for a shopping spree or a trip to Disneyland. But when 12-year-old Maria Yasmin Canales got a chance to have one of her wishes come true, she asked to meet reality TV star Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman in Honolulu. On Sept. 4, she got her wish.

“I’ve been a big fan since I was like really young and I’ve watched all his shows—he is my idol,” she says. “My friends are like, ‘You’re so lucky.’”

Canales flew from Arlington, Va., to Honolulu with her mother, Heather Williams, and sisters Yohanna and Yesenia Canales, courtesy of Kids Wish Network. The international charitable organization grants wishes to children ages 3 to 18 who are dealing with life-threatening illnesses.

Because Canales has chronic lung disease and cystic fibrosis, she has to take at least 17 medications every day. Even though Yasmin gets tired easily, her next wish after meeting Chapman was to climb Koko Head crater.

At the “Dog the Bounty Hunter” gift shop, she picked up a complimentary pink beanie, a pink pareau, a black T-shirt and a black hoodie emblazoned with Dog logos on them. Canales admitted to reporters she was feeling a bit nervous to meet her hero next door at Da Kine Bail Bonds.

At Da Kine Bail Bonds, Chapman gave Canales a hug. As her family entered the room, Chapman asked, “Who is the smartest of all three? All girls? Hallelujah, right?” Later, Chapman joked, “We have nine sons. You can borrow any one of them, except for Leland.” The group gathered around the couch to chat with Chapman and his wife, Beth.

“She loves how you inspire everybody that you catch and she loves the way you try to change them —and it has totally inspired her to keep going through her fight,” Williams told Dog and Beth. “We are so grateful that you guys were able to meet her.”

Read highlights from their conversation below.



Maria Yasmin Canales: I wanted to know if you had any recommendations for what I should do here, because I have two days that are free. 

Dog Chapman: Always say hi to people, okay? In Hawaii, they give you a mean mug at first. And then you kind of look back. Then they smile, because that’s how Hawaiians are. Swim in the ocean, for one thing. Sharks? Don’t worry about them.

Beth Chapman: I would do a two-hour horseback ride around Kualoa Ranch. They take you up to the valley, where they filmed Jurassic Park and Mighty Joe Young. The other thing I would do is some type of water sport. 

Heather Williams: We were thinking. Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay? 

Dog: Yeah, that’s nice. 

Williams: And then, Waimea Bay? There is a rock there? Is it scary?

Dog: Noooo. 

Beth: Yes, it is! *faces Dog* Let’s see you jump off it! I’ll invite all the press. They’ll want to see it! 

Dog: If it gets my hair wet, I ain’t doin’ it! 

Canales: I wanted to know if Koko Head is really, really challenging?

Beth: It is a little challenging for the first couple hundred stairs, but then after that it starts getting a little lighter. But Makapuu is very challenging and Makapuu doesn’t have any dust and it is beautiful. I do that hike also and I do the Hanauma Bay hike, which is the top ridge around Hanauma Bay.

Canales: What is the scariest time when you were on [Dog and Beth: On the] Hunt? What happened? Is it scary on Hunt

Dog: One of the scariest [experiences] just happened a month ago. We went after a guy who was supposed be one of the toughest guys in the world. Five years ago, I read, “When Dog comes after me, I am going to kill him and anybody that is with him.” So we entered his house. We didn’t have nothing, but handcuffs. I looked at Leland. Kaleo was breathing hard. And I was like, “Are you ready?” And he was like, “Yeah.” And I said, “Okay, this is where you separate the men from boys.” And I took a step forward and so did they. We went around the corner and he wasn’t there. Whew! *everyone laughs*

After the Q&A session, we caught up with Dog in a one-on-one interview. Click here to read more.


Related Stories