If you have never been interested in politics but love the hype that comes with it, maybe you can have your dog run for political office. The catch is you have to be living in an unincorporated community, and your canine must have the qualities of a leader. Before you dismiss this ambition as being too farfetched, meet this dog that has been a California mayor for eight years. Besides his charming personality, Max II was lucky to be the descendant of the first dog mayor of Idyllwild. Without further ado, here is everything you need to know about how he ended up as mayor.
The election started as a fundraiser
When Glenn Warren and Phyllis Mueller moved to Idyllwild from Temecula in November 2011, they decided to raise money for Animal Rescue Friends (ARF). Since they two are marketing executives, they utilized their expertise to organize an animal election in which pet owners were asked to “buy the election” using as little as $1 to ensure their pet won. Although they campaigned for their dog, Max Mueller, and asked the residents of San Jacinto Mountains village to vote as many times as possible, Max won thanks also to the couple’s contribution of $20,000. The $31,000 raised was donated to ARF, and Max became the mayor of Idyllwild.
Phyllis Mueller used Max’s position to help boost tourism in the community; therefore, as published by PE, she would invite corporate officials to have lunch with Max. Mueller used any chance she got to praise her hometown, and with Max helping her, the residents were so pleased with the outcome that they extended Max’s term for a second year. Unfortunately, Max was over 11 years old when his term started, so his time as mayor was short-lived.
When he was only 12 years and two months old, his body finally gave in, and he died in his sleep; he had had cancer for three years. It was a huge loss for his owners since the dog had become part of their family, and they considered him a son. The village was also devastated, and they held a memorial service on April 14, 2013, at Idyllwild Pines. Still, the legacy had to continue, and Phyllis Mueller was determined to look for Max Mueller’s successor. She already had a name in mind –Mini Max and his official name as mayor would be Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller, II.
Max II becomes mayor
According to Business Insider, Phyllis was determined to search for Max I’s relatives regardless of how far she would go since the mayorship had been decided to be a monarchy, instead of a democracy. Therefore, after unsuccessful attempts in tracing Max I’s bloodline from her breeder who had switched to breeding Goldendoodles, Phyllis’s relentless pursuit for Idyllwild mayor led her to search not only in the United States but also in Canada and the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, her efforts were futile until she perused a Golden Retriever magazine and saw a canine that resembled Max I.
Phyllis traced the breeder of the Max I look- alike and found three of his descendants in Ohio and California. At the time, Max II was only 11 weeks old, but he already exhibited mayoral qualities; Phyllis said he looked right at the camera, crisscrossed his legs, and struck a pose. With that charm, he was the obvious choice, and the pup took office in his infancy while the other two, Mikey and Mitzi, became his deputies. Phyllis explained that Mikey and Mitzi are not cut out for holding office duties because of their wild and energetic behavior, which pales in comparison to Max II’s calm demeanor.
Being a mayor almost cost him his life
After completing his predecessor’s term, Max II was elected mayor for life in 2014, which has made him a celebrity, and he is living the good life. Besides his custom license plates to show he is no ordinary dog, Max II is a very spoiled dog. All the same, he does not forget to do what is expected of him, including visiting hospitals and schools and attending social events. If you would like to have a sitdown with him, all you have to do is make an appointment through his website. You can have a souvenir of a picture since he is always ready to pose for the camera, as seen in one picture on his Instagram where he has garnered over 54,000 followers.
However, it has not always been all bliss on the job; there was an assassination attempt as The Guardian reported. When Max II attended a public event, one canine that was off-leash ran towards the mayor and almost bit him in the neck. That incident traumatized Mayor Max II, and he could hardly get close to any dog for an entire year, but by 2019, Phyllis said he had gotten over it. Besides, with his deputies ready to scare away any threat, the mayor must now feel safe enough to keep discharging his duties. All he wants is peace on earth, and his job entails being an advocate for all animals (wild and domesticated), promote the community and support projects.
Another monarchy in animals holding political office
In the 1980s, Walter Mischer, a resident of Lajitas, invited his friends from Houston to fundraise, but the town was hit by a snowstorm that forced the friends to extend their stay for one more night. As they enjoyed some beers, the men thought it was time Lajitas had a mayor, and Walter’s friend, Tommy Steele, was chosen. Bill Ivey was enraged that a person from Houston could be the mayor of Lajitas, so he said even his goat was fit to be the mayor. Campaigns started with Tommy, and Clay Henry, Bill’s goat, going against each other, but Tommy won.
However, during the next election, Tommy was still running for office, and more candidates came forward: Clay Henry, a wooden Indian and a dog named “Buster.” This time, Clay Henry won. However, when Clay Henry I was 23, a romantic rival killed him, but he lives on as a stuffed animal displayed at Starlight Theater. According to ABC13, his descendants have continued to be elected mayor, and all have inherited the original Clay Henry’s love for beer.