DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Mark Buehrle won't be experiencing the dog days of summer.
While the pitcher is headed to Toronto, his family will split the season between Broward County in Florida and their home in St. Louis. One of their four dogs, Slater, is a pit bull mix -- and pit bulls are banned in the province of Ontario.
"He's an awesome dog," Buehrle said. "That's what's a shame; just the way he looks is why we have to get separated."
Sent to Toronto as part of the Miami Marlins' payroll purge, Buehrle had a few options. He could have left Slater with friends or placed him in a kennel. The Buehrle family also could have moved to Buffalo or somewhere else on the U.S. side of the border, forcing the pitcher to commute 90 minutes each way to Toronto.
Buehrle's wife, Jamie, 5-year-old Braden and 3-year-old daughter Brooklyn will spend time with the 33-year-old lefthander during spring training, as will Slater and their three vizslas.
"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."