“If people don’t own dogs, they’re not going to understand you’re leaving your family and your kids behind over a dog,” commented major league pitcher Mark Buehrle after he and his family agreed that he would go on to Toronto without them rather than give up their beloved dog Slater, a bulldog/pitbull mix. Pitbulls are banned on Ontario.
“We’ve had people say,’oh you can bring them up here. Knowing you have the money, no one’s going to take your dog because they know you are going to fight against it. But the thing is, Slater will have to sit in a cage until that court date gets there, and that could be weeks or even months. Who knows?”
Buehrle, who had signed a $58 million 4-year contract with the Miami Marlins in December 2011, after going 161-119 during his 12-years with the Chicago White Sox, never expected that he would be traded so soon. However, a dismal season forced the Marlins to “shed some of its stars,” to the Blue Jays in order to reorganize the team. Other players caught in the turmoil included catcher John Buck, shortstop Jose Reyes, outfielder Emilio Bonifacio, and right-hander Josh Johnson, none of which had any block trade provisions in their contracts.
Although, the Buehrle family could have chosen to move to Buffalo (or any other town on the US side of the border), resulting in a 90-minute commute each way to Toronto for Mark, they have decided to spend the season apart. Instead, wife Jamie and kids 5-year old Braeden and 3-year old Brooklyn, as well as Slater and their 3 vizslas will spend time with Mark during spring training in Broward County, Fl. before returning to their regular home in St. Louis.
“It’s something we are going to deal with,” he stated. “It’s going to be tough at the beginning, not seeing the kids. But people deal with it, and we will make it work. Slater is an awesome dog. That’s what’s a shame, just the way he looks.”