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Town Couldn't Be Happier with Golden Retriever They Elected Mayor for 5th Year Straight

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One of the most heated topics in our day — and especially online, it seems — is anything related to politics. People hold their views religiously, and it’s a dog-eat-dog world.

But one town in California has quite literally gone to the dogs. It’s not exactly a recent shift: The first four-legged candidate took office on July 1, 2012.

The town is called Idyllwild, and has no human mayor because it’s not an incorporated town. Seeing the potential for some light-hearted fun and supporting a good cause, the local Animal Rescue Friends decided to hold an election, with each vote requiring a $1 donation to the rescue.

According to ABC, that first year there were 16 candidates, two of which were cats. It seems there are more dog people than cat people in the town, and specifically more golden retriever lovers, because the first pup to carry the title was a golden dubbed “Mayor Max.”

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He promised to “convey unconditional love and do as many good deeds for others as possible,” according to the Mayor Max Facebook page.

This good boy was in office until his passing in 2013, at which point his nephew, “Maximus Mighty Dog Mueller II,” was elected to fill in. Phyllis Mueller, his handler — I mean, his chief of staff, explained what her role in all of this was.

“My role as the chief of staff is to help run the vision of the mayor’s office for Idyllwild, so we actually run an actual mayor’s office.”

“Upon his arrival to Idyllwild,” the official Facebook page states, “Max was accompanied by two deputy mayors: Mikey and Mitzi (Mikey Mighty-Dog Mueller and Mitzi Marie Mueller).”

“The trio is often referred to as “the Mayor and the spares” or simply ‘the Mayors of Idyllwild.'” And yes, you guessed it: They’re golden retrievers, too.

Max makes sure to be present in his community on the daily, accepting treats, pets, and admiration wherever he goes. He rides about in the back of a truck that has Mayor Max stickers on it and he greets familiar faces as well as visitors.

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He even knows a few tricks, and seems to enjoy sporting western attire. Sometimes he dresses up and wears a tie, too.

So far, it looks like he’s sticking to his uncle’s creed and keeping the townspeople happy, and will continue to do so — and be a very good boy in the process — for years to come.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking