Mayor Max, the beloved canine leader of the town of Idyllwild, California, has passed away at age 9.
Known for his friendly golden retriever face around town and beyond, Mayor Max rose to stardom since he took over the office in 2013. He even appeared in a CBS Evening News segment in 2020 about his large presence in the small town, and drew visitors from far and wide to Idyllwild, where tourists loved to snag a selfie with the even-tempered canine.
In a statement on Mayor Max's Facebook page last week, his owners shared the circumstances around his unexpected death, which came after an emergency surgical procedure. When it became clear that Mayor Mayor couldn't survive the operation, the family realized it was time to let him go.
"I am so sorry to tell you all that Mayor Max went to Heaven a few moments ago. We are deeply grieving and will resurface when we can figure out what we are going to do next. As I kissed Max goodbye, I told him to come to the house and stay with us there spiritually," wrote Max's owner Phyllis Mueller, who also served as his chief of staff. "I believe he had a wonderful life because I know he loved going to work so much which is what we called going out to see the Idyllwild visitors."
In a statement to the Idyllwild Town Crier, Max's family expressed their deep grief and love for Mayor Max.
“We are so deeply saddened by the sudden and unexpected loss of our sweet dog, Mayor Max," the statement reads. "Mayor Max is so much a part of me that I am having difficulty coping. Your outreach to us has been so comforting and helpful. As soon as I can, I’ll make an appearance in town if I think I can have any form of communication without crying too much.
After news of Mayor Max's passing became public, social media promptly mourned the beloved politician.
The one public official that we could trust has died. I had the privilege of meeting Mayor Max a couple years ago and he took time from his Mayor responsibilities to pose for pictures. https://t.co/zJ4LTBAzdL pic.twitter.com/FwS8ZX3hkZ
— Adam Schindler (@adamschindlerSD) August 2, 2022
Losing Mayor Max was not on my 2022 BINGO card. 😭 pic.twitter.com/LitlvohGg9
— ✨cristi c✨ (@Laundrylists) August 6, 2022
Just learned that Mayor Max, the dog mayor of Idyllwild, is no longer with us my therapist could not have gone on vacation at a worse time pic.twitter.com/Kh6PMjAxmi
— Alexis “Bring Back Bunheads” Wilson (@sassyblackdiva) August 5, 2022
calling in sick from work bc mayor max the dog mayor of idyllwild passed away overnight
— ✨snooby✨ (@ErnBrxtn) July 31, 2022
i know i didn’t just find out mayor max the dog died . going dark dhmu
— 🥤Soda (@SodaCanTabs) August 2, 2022
Guys, Mayor Max died, I missed the news 😢 pic.twitter.com/GTIjFmN4CJ
— Saber Zelgrath (@SaberZelgrath) August 3, 2022
Not only do I need to find a new job, but Mayor Max - the dog mayor of a town in California - just passed away. This isn’t a good Monday lol
— Shark Mom 🦈 (@sharkbabexo) August 1, 2022
The first Mayor Max, who was also a golden retriever, originally took office after a local animal rescue group came up with the idea to have it be a fundraiser where you paid a dollar a vote, Mueller told CBS back in 2020. He passed away in 2013, and this Mayor Max took over his role.
In the week since Mayor Max's passing, the town of Idyllwild has started their search for their next humble leader. In the meantime, there will be two canine co-mayors who will take office.
"Deputy Mayor Mikey and I, Deputy Mayor Mitzi, are going to be the new Co-Mayors of Idyllwild on an interim basis while Phyllis and Glenny have now begun the quest for the search for Mayor Max the Third," a statement read on Mayor Max's Facebook page.
Yahoo Life reached out to Mayor Max's office, but did not receive a response at publication time.
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