While thousands of less-than-stellar dog owners choose to dump their pet at a shelter when the going gets tough, there is one high profile athlete who is making a huge sacrifice on behalf of his family's dog, "Slater."
According to Wednesday's New York Times, Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays pitcher, is moving to Toronto without his family because Slater, a pit bull mix rescued by Mark's wife, is banned from living in Ontario.
“If people don’t own dogs, they’re not going to understand — you’re leaving your family and your kids behind over a dog?
But we’re responsible pet owners, and the family’s going to come up there; it’s not like we’re not going to see each other.
But we just feel like with all the training and all the stuff that we’ve done with the dogs, it’s better that they stay with my wife.”
Buehrle does not want to risk having Slater be confiscated by Ontario officials, and possibly having his beloved dog confined to a kennel run while things get worked out in court.
The Buehrle family owns Slater, along with three Vizslas. Of all the dogs, Slater is described as the "most loyal and well behaved."
A statement by Buehrle in the Winnipeg Free Press describes Slater's popularity:
"He's awesome with our kids. He's awesome when we have parties over at the house,"
"Kids run right in, 'Where's Slater, where's Slater?' Every kid wants to go right to him.
He's an awesome dog. That's what's a shame. Just the way he looks is why we get separated. He's probably the best dog we have.
The family plans to make time to be together.
Thanks to a salary which allows for more than one home, Buehrle will be able to spend time with his wife and kids at their Miami, Fla., and St. Louis, Mo., homes.
The situation may not be ideal, but leaving Slater behind, or worse, was not an option for this family, and for that, they are to be commended.
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