St. Charles, MO. native and starting pitcher Mark Buehrle will not only have to leave his dog behind in the United States, when he heads north of the border to start the season for the Toronto Blue Jays, but his whole family is staying behind. Buehrle, who was traded from Miami to Toronto this offseason, will live in Canada, while his family will split the season between Florida and their home in St. Louis. One of Buehrle’s four dogs, Slater, is a mix of bulldog and American Staffordshire Terrier — which is of pit bull lineage. Pit bulls are banned in the province of Ontario.
“He’s an awesome dog,” Buehrle said Saturday. “That’s what’s a shame; just the way he looks is why we have to get separated.”
Buehrle’s wife, Jamie, 5-year-old Braden and 3-year-old daughter Brooklyn will spend time with the 33-year-old left-hander during spring training, as will Slater and their three other dogs, vizslas. Buehrle said his family will travel to Toronto for occasional visits.
“It’s something we’re going to deal with. It’s going to be tough at the beginning, not seeing your kids, but people deal with it and we’ll make it work,” Buehrle said. “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.”
This is the latest issue that steams Buehrle in dealing with the Marlins. Buehrle pitched for the Chicago White Sox, but signed a free agent deal with the Marlins. After one season, Buehrle was traded in November along with shortstop Jose Reyes, right-hander Josh Johnson, catcher John Buck and outfielder Emilio Bonifacio to the Blue Jays. None of the Marlins’ players had contracts allowing them to block trades. Buehrle issued a statement in November, saying “I was lied to on multiple occasions” by the Marlins.