Westminster champion adds a new title to his pedigree — honorary mayor of Palm Springs

As the city’s first ever canine mayor Buddy Holly will serve as an ambassador for the city while also educating residents and visitors about his special breed.
Members of the Palm Springs City Council pose with Buddy Holly and his owner, Janice Hayes, after a ceremony at City Hall Monday evening. (Photo: City of Palm Springs)

Move over, Idyllwild, there’s a new political pooch ready to claim the crown of Southern California’s cutest canine.

Buddy Holly, the six-year-old Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen that won best in show at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in May, was sworn in as the city’s first ever canine mayor Monday evening as owner Janice Hayes lifted his paw and Palm Springs Mayor Grace Garner performed the ceremony.

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“I just want to thank everyone for the treatment we’ve gotten after Westminster,” Hayes said during the ceremony. “Palm Springs is such a dog-friendly city in California, which is becoming more rare.

“The win itself was huge, but this truly has been very special.”

While nobody will argue Palm Springs is partial to puppies, it’s not the only city in the area to bestow the title of mayor to a dog. Mayor Max III was recently sworn in to the honorary office in the mountain community of Idyllwild, becoming the third Max to hold the title since 2012.

Buddy Holly — who answered a few questions for The Post in this recent article — had a circuitous route before becoming a fulltime resident of Palm Springs. He was born in the United Kingdom and was shown there, in Ireland, and in Australia before landing in the United States in November 2022.

He started his show career in the Coachella Valley before he and Hayes traveled to Oregon and throughout California, Arizona and Texas before finally making it to the biggest stage of them all in New York.

While retired from the show circuit, Buddy Holly won’t have it easy as the the city’s honorary mayor. As “Canine Mayor” he’ll be making appearances around town as an ambassador for the city while also educating residents and visitors about his special breed. Along the way, city officials said they hope he will spread smiles, laughter, and joy.

“Buddy and his mom Janice are excited to partner with the city of Palm Springs to attend ribbon-cuttings, Walk of Stars ceremonies – and a few surprises along the way,” the city said in a news release. Still, Garner, the city’s human mayor, said he’s not the only dog that deserves recognition.

“To all the other dogs in Palm Springs, we also love you very, very much,” Garner said. “Especially Spot at my parents’ house.”

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