A lot of people complain that inept politicians are sending the country to the dogs, figuratively speaking, of course. But in the case of the town of Idyllwild in Southern California, this situation literally happened, but in a good way.
The mayor is none other than an adorable golden retriever named Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II who took office in 2014. He actually had a predecessor, Max I, who unfortunately passed away after within one year of winning the seat due to old age.
Idyllwild, which is unincorporated, started the practice of electing canines to the mayor’s office seven years ago.
Max’s owner, Phyllis Mueller, is also the mayor’s self-appointed chief of staff who answers her cellphone with, “Office of the Mayor.”
Speaking to Insider, she said: “We promoted this as an election you can buy, and we encouraged everyone to vote a lot.
“When we met Max in his infancy, he looked right at the camera, crossed his arms and did a pose. That’s how he let us know, we said, there it is, that’s the sign, that is the mayor.”
She was referring to a process that resulted in funds being raised to benefit an animal welfare charity.
Mayor Max I was actually the first canine who won the town’s highest office in 2012. The nonprofit Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends were the ones who ran the election that featured 13 other dogs and two cats, but Max I won via landslide with two-thirds of the vote.
Unfortunately, due to old age Max I sadly passed away within a year of taking office.
Phyllis desperately searched for a successor and just knew that Max II would be the perfect fit even when he was a pup because he struck a pose while looking directly at the camera.
She added: “I called my breeder, but she had lost track of her bloodline because she had switched to breeding Goldendoodles, but I wanted a golden retriever to carry on what Idyllwild had.”
But browsing through a golden retriever magazine, Phyllis found one dog who was practically Max’s twin.
“I called that breeder and sure enough, I had found the bloodline,” she added.
Mayor Max II is ably assisted by his deputy mayors Mitzi and Mikey who are also golden retrievers. They go to festivals and attend city events together. They also make the rounds in local hospitals and schools as well as visit the houses of people in need.
Their “mayor mobiles” feature custom license plates and carry the mayor’s logos.
Phyllis said: “They’re like puppy wolves, wild and frisky, fun and energetic, while the mayor is very calm, and knows he needs to pose for the picture.
“He wants to help make the world a better place. The mayor would like to see peace on earth in his lifetime.”
She added that Max II has let the trappings of public office get to his head as he has displayed diva antics before.
She quipped: “He’s a spoiled dog, but also very hardworking. He works all day, and he knows he’s the mayor, knows it’s his job to pose, knows to look at the camera. I’m really proud of him.”
Phyllis also told The Guardian that making the world a better place and “conveying unconditional love and doing as many good deeds for others as possible” is Max’s main goal.
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