In the classic screwball comedy, “Bringing Up Baby,” Cary Grant plays a paleontologist who is reluctant to help a socialite (Katharine Hepburn) care for the pet leopard (Baby) who shares her home.
In real life, Grant was apparently reluctant for the Yorkshire Terrier belonging to his wife, Dyan Cannon, to share their home after the 1966 birth of their daughter, Jennifer.
Cannon told the Los Angeles Times that when she returned home from the hospital, her Yorkie, Bangs, was absent.
Grant said he gave Bangs away.
“Infants and dogs aren’t a good mix, Dyan,” Cannon said he told her. “Animals can experience extreme jealousy around newborns.”
Cannon, an actress and director who recently published the memoir, “Dear Cary: My Life With Cary Grant,” told the L.A. Times that she found out her beloved Yorkie had died shortly after being re-homed.
“It killed me,” Cannon said. “I didn’t put it in the book. I knew she couldn’t live without me. She thought I had abandoned her.”
Was Grant right about infants and dogs not mixing? Well, according to the Humane Society of the United States, although a new baby can indeed stress out a pooch, pet parents can take steps to make the introduction go smoothly. It’s especially important to pay lots of attention to the first baby – the one with four legs, that is.
Maybe if this had happened today, 45 years later, Grant would have followed the somewhat more compassionate lead of Nick Cannon (no relation to Dyan). When Cannon’s wife, Mariah Carey, arrived home with their newborn twins, he simply banished the pooches to an outdoor doghouse.
Grant and Cannon divorced two years after he gave away Bangs. Cannon told the L.A. Times she has forgiven Grant, who died in 1986, and loves him even more today. She is currently dog mom to two Chihuahuas, Matilda and J.C., who are definitely staying put at Casa Cannon.