Mayor Max, Idyllwild’s first mayor. Photo by Karen Lifshey-Shapiro
Mayor Max, Idyllwild’s first mayor, passed away in his sleep Tuesday night April 2. The Mayor was 12 years old and had health problems for several years, according to his chief of staff Phyllis Mueller.

“He passed away peacefully in his sleep, first snoring, and then his heart stopped. He has had cancer for just over three years, and we consider it a miracle that he lived so long with this illness and that we had him in our lives for 12 years and 2 months,” she wrote sadly. “In his death, I promise you that he did not suffer, and for this we are very grateful.”

A service for the former mayor, whose formal name was Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller, is planned for 1 p.m. Sunday, April 14 at McNeil Hall on the Idyllwild Pines Camp grounds.

The Animal Rescue Friends of Idyllwild will create a shrine on its property for Max and all other cherished and lost pets, according to Maria Lehman, director of operations for ARF.

“We would like to invite everyone to stop by ARF and place any memory near the shrine,” she wrote in an email. “The garden club will be landscaping and a pergola will be built. This will be for the entire community to place memories of animals lost. Also, a wind chime area is soon to come, too.”

Mini Me, interim mayor. Photo courtesy of Glenn Warren
Going forward, Mini Me will to step in as the Interim Mayor of Idyllwild, according to Mueller. Mini Me is replica of the Mayor. Mueller and her husband, Glenn Warren, were already sharing Mini Mes with children and some adults this weekend In Idyllwild.

Children who received a Mini Me were deputized as mini-mayors. “We asked them if they would promise to help Mini Me in this interim period to fulfill the charter of Mayor Max to convey unconditional love and do as many good deeds for others as possible,” Mueller explained.

Later this spring, Warren and Mueller will go on the quest for a new Mini Max, who will also be a loving golden retriever. To be named Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller, II, Mini Max will complete Mayor Max’s term of office through June 30, 2014.