Idyllwild’s honorary mayor can’t read, write or speak English, but supporters are counting on his sweet, shaggy face to help attract visitors to the mountain community.
In June, residents “elected” Maximus “Mighty-Dog” Mueller to serve as Idyllwild’s ceremonial town leader for a year. Photos of the 11 1/2-year-old golden retriever mix, wearing a tie and red, white, and blue ribbon, are now being used in emails and mailers encouraging people to visit the nearly mile-high central Riverside County community.
“We offer breathtaking surroundings in a fun, friendly and peaceful environment for meetings, conferences and vacations — or any type of getaway, long or short, at any time of the year,” Max’s owner and “chief of staff,” Phyllis Mueller, wrote in an email distributed Tuesday.
“If you would like to preview Idyllwild as a possible venue for your upcoming meetings, events or vacations, simply call or email my office, and we will schedule a date and time that works for you to tour through Idyllwild and (see) all the best meeting places, vacation rentals, restaurants and things to do.”
Max was “elected” in a fundraiser sponsored by the Idyllwild Animal Rescue Friends. Fourteen dogs and two cats competed for the honorary title, with people donating in the name of whichever canine or feline they preferred.
The pet that generated the most bucks — in this case, Max — was declared the winner.
A total $31,000 was raised for the rescue shelter, according to organizers. Idyllwild has no city government, but does have a chamber of commerce.
People interested in meeting Max or booking a conference or other event in Idyllwild can contact Mueller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 951- 659-0283.