Baseball players are known for switching loyalties as often as they switch teams, but despite getting traded from the Miami Marlins to the Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle will not be moving his family to Toronto.
Buehrle may play there, but he won't call it home. Not without Slater, his American Staffordshire terrier, which is a breed of pit bull. Pitbulls are banned in the province of Ontario, which includes Toronto.
Buehrle and his wife Jamie considered slipping the pooch - one of the four dogs - through a loophole by claiming Slater is a service dog, but that was abandoned.
Jamie Buehrle told ABCNews.com that Slater is not a threat.
"Everyone who meets him [Slater] falls in love with him," she said. "Every time a kid comes over to our house, he is the first dog they go towards."
"The baseball season is a long time, so I just couldn't imagine him [Slater] staying with someone else for so long", said Jamie Buehrle.
So Jamie Buehrle and their two children, Braden, 5, and Brooklyn, 3, plan on splitting their time between their homes in Broward County, Fla., and St. Louis, Mo., while her husband is in Toronto for the 2013 baseball season.
When the Buehrle's were first told of the switch to the Blue Jays, they were aware of the pitbull ban.
"I reached out to several groups when I first learned about the trade to see if there was any kind of loop holes. 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," said Jamie Buehrle.
According to Jamie Buehrle, this is the longest time that the family will ever be apart, but she doesn't think it will be too much of a problem.
"I think honestly we will see him [Mark Buehrle] more, because on a normal day when we live 25 minutes away [from the stadium], he leaves at 2 p.m. for a 7 p.m. game and does not get back home until one or two in the morning."
Slater, along with his three other companions, Diesel, Drake and Duke who are vizslas, will stay at home when the family goes to Canada to visit their lefty-pitcher once a month during the season, for a week.
Although they have explained to their children that they won't be seeing their dad that much during baseball season, Jamie Buehrle says her son Braden has been asking, "How come Toronto doesn't like dogs like Slater?"
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- Toronto Blue Jays
- Mark Buehrle