I was scheduled to meet with Mayor Max’s Chief of Staff Phyllis Mueller and Mayor Max Sunday afternoon to chat about the canine mayor’s most recent television and social media appearances but then I got a text message from Mueller Sunday morning: “I have to take Max to emergency veterinary care in Murrieta. He has started to cough and gag constantly. I am worried.”
Hours later I received a call from Mueller explaining Max had X-rays taken of his lungs that came back clear. However, the veterinarians were concerned that a foxtail could be lodged in his air passage or that Max could have kennel cough.
“I’ve been in tears all day, not knowing if Max was going to be okay or not,” Mueller said.
With his most recent medical emergency, Max will be on bedrest for a couple of weeks taking care of his health. The mayor has had a very busy 2020 so far promoting Idyllwild.
On Feb. 3, right before the Iowa Caucus, Max was on the CBS evening news with Norah O’Donnell and Mireya Villarreal. CBS was in town filming for a couple of days prior to the airing, running it as a nonpartisan piece. Univision was at the mayor’s house last Friday morning filming his daily routine. Juan Carlos Gonzalez interviewed Phyllis Mueller. The segment aired that same afternoon.
Visitors come to the center of town to see Mayor Max on a regular basis, which appears to have gained popularity.
“It’s increased by at least four to five times,” Mueller said. “We love it and Max loves it.”
Outside of Max’s television appearances, the mayor is gaining more popularity on social media. Nick Sitton, known as @Boybloom on Instagram, posted a 17-second video to his TikTok account featuring Mayor Max in his cowboy hat that reached 5,000,000 views in only five days.
“I think all the exposure has brought people up [to Idyllwild],” Mueller said. “Wherever I go, I hear people say they learned about Max on social media. I know for a fact there are a lot of people from the recent exposure.”
Whether he’s in town, on television, amongst the mass ethers of social media or on bedrest as he recovers at home, Max continues to spread his message of unconditional love and kindness.