Mark Buehrle is one of the very best baseball players, a starting pitcher with 13 years in the majors. He’s also one heck of a dog lover, with four dogs at home with his family, one of them a Bulldog/American Staffordshire Terrier mix.
It’s a Pit Bull, in short. And that Pit Bull can’t come with Buehrle to his new job as starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, since Ontario bans Pit Bulls.
A conundrum, indeed. Buehrle didn’t ask to be traded to Ontario from Miami — in fact, he’s pretty upset about it. And how he can’t take his dog with him.
“He’s an awesome dog,” Buehrle said, according to the Washington Post. “That’s what’s a shame; just the way he looks is why we have to get separated.”
No, Buehrle is not getting rid of the dog. He’s a dog lover, remember? Instead, he’s going to play baseball alone, leaving his beloved Slater home with his family, wife Jamie and kids Braden (5) and Brooklyn (3).
“I reached out to several groups when I first learned about the trade to see if there was any kind of loopholes,” Jamie told ABC News. “Pretty much there wasn’t, although in some areas they are less strict. We just couldn’t take that chance of him possibly being taken away from us.”
The Buehrles aren’t looking for a fight when it comes to an unjust dangerous dog law. Why? Because a fight could mean the dog would be confiscated until the court date, and Buehrle can’t bear the thought of it.
“We’ve had people say, ‘Oh, you can bring them up here. Knowing you have money, no one’s going to take your dog because they know you’re going to fight against it,’” Buehrle said. “But the thing is, Slater will have to sit in a cage until that court date gets there, and that could be two weeks, it could be three months.”
“If people don’t own dogs, they’re not going to understand you’re leaving your family and your kids behind over a dog.”
The family won’t be separated too long, however. One a month, his wife and kids will travel to Canada and stay a week with him. Slater and the other dogs, however, will stay at home.
“It’s something we’re going to deal with,” Buehrle said. “It’s going to be tough at the beginning, not seeing your kids, but people deal with it and we’ll make it work.”
The controversy is doing nothing for the good name of Toronto. Jamie says their five-year-old has been asking her, “How come Toronto doesn’t like dogs like Slater?”
Want to field that one, Toronto?