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An appreciation of Darby, who took Times readers along on dog-friendly adventures around California

If all dogs go to heaven, resident angels are greeting a well-traveled pooch this week.

Darby the Wheaten terrier, an L.A. Times Travel section mascot who tested dog-friendly hotels and activities for six years, died Sunday. He was 13.
 
A San Diego native, Darby was a rescue dog who came to live with travel writer Rosemary McClure in the South Bay when he was 6 years old.

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The handsome dog then ambled his way through some of the state's most interesting hotels. His photogenic mug and happy personality put him on the Travel section cover regularly and on the front page of the newspaper twice.


 
One of his favorite hotels was the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara (where he tried the signature dog massage), but he also enjoyed the Peninsula Beverly Hills, La Quinta Resort and Club, Carmel Valley Inn and a host of smaller hotels, B&Bs and campsites from San Diego to Northern California.
 
In addition, he tested dog adventure activities, learning how to ride a stand-up paddleboard, herd sheep and lead a party of snowshoers through the backwoods (mostly, they just tried to catch up with him.)
 
Darby survived a bout with cancer in 2012, but died from another form of it on Jan. 3. Word is he's galloping through snowdrifts and chasing sheep across the happy hunting grounds in the sky.

Check out this photo gallery of Darby's travel adventures over the years.

Darby the Wheaten terrier, left, and Lillie, the West Highland terrier, only had eyes for the salmon and steak dinners they were served at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. <a href="http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-darby-20130707-story.html" target="_blank">Read the story</a>.
Darby the Wheaten terrier, left, and Lillie, the West Highland terrier, only had eyes for the salmon and steak dinners they were served at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Read the story. (Rosemary McClure / For the Los Angeles Times)
Darby stretches out at Lowes in Santa Monica.<a href="http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-darby-20130707-story.html" target="_blank"> Read the story</a>.
Darby stretches out at Lowes in Santa Monica. Read the story. (Rosemary McClure / For the Los Angeles Times)
Darby dines in a patio outside the room at the Peninsula Beverly Hills. <a href="http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-darby-20130707-story.html" target="_blank">Read the story</a>.
Darby dines in a patio outside the room at the Peninsula Beverly Hills. Read the story. (Rosemary McClure / For the Los Angeles Times)
A few years back, Darby compared notes with a motorcyclist from British Columbia after they experienced a drive-through redwood outside Garberville, Calif.
A few years back, Darby compared notes with a motorcyclist from British Columbia after they experienced a drive-through redwood outside Garberville, Calif. (Rosemary McClure /For The Times)
And Darby was patient too. In 2009, he and his friend, Bonnie, watched from afar as the humans had fun on the beach. Dogs aren't allowed on the beach at Capitola, Calif., near Santa Cruz on Monterey Bay. <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2009/oct/25/travel/tr-darby25">Read the story</a>.
And Darby was patient too. In 2009, he and his friend, Bonnie, watched from afar as the humans had fun on the beach. Dogs aren't allowed on the beach at Capitola, Calif., near Santa Cruz on Monterey Bay. Read the story. (Rosemary McClure/For the Los Angeles Times)
Visitors, including Darby, get to know each other on the front porch at the Old Yacht Club Inn B&B in Santa Barbara.
Visitors, including Darby, get to know each other on the front porch at the Old Yacht Club Inn B&B in Santa Barbara. (Rosemary McClure / For the Los Angeles Times)
In 2010, Darby visited Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, 17 miles west of The Strip in Las Vegas, where he hung out with a couple from Los Angeles. <a href="http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-darby-20100613-story.html" target="_blank">Read the story</a>.
In 2010, Darby visited Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, 17 miles west of The Strip in Las Vegas, where he hung out with a couple from Los Angeles. Read the story. (Rosemary McClure / For the Los Angeles Times)
Darby even learned to to herd sheep at a ranch near Malibu.<a href="http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-darby-20100613-story.html" target="_blank">Read the story.</a>
Darby even learned to to herd sheep at a ranch near Malibu.Read the story. (Rosemary McClure / For the Los Angeles Times)
Darby wasn't stressed out about time, but the "dogs rule" clock was there for him at the pool area when he stayed at the Dog Spa Resort and Wellness Center in Desert Hot Springs, Calif. <a href="http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-darby-20110619-story.html">Read the story</a>.
Darby wasn't stressed out about time, but the "dogs rule" clock was there for him at the pool area when he stayed at the Dog Spa Resort and Wellness Center in Desert Hot Springs, Calif. Read the story. (Rosemary McClure / For the Los Angeles Times)
Darby collects some pats on the head from a newlywed couple who were soaking up the sun and view from the patio at the Blue Lantern Inn, which overlooks Dana Point Harbor. <a href="http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-darby-20110619-story.html">Read the story</a>.
Darby collects some pats on the head from a newlywed couple who were soaking up the sun and view from the patio at the Blue Lantern Inn, which overlooks Dana Point Harbor. Read the story. (Rosemary McClure / For the Los Angeles Times)
Darby went window-shopping in 2008 at the Cold Nose, Warm Heart pet shop on Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.<a href="http://www.latimes.com/travel/california/la-tr-la-quinta-escape-20150201-story.html" target="_blank">Read the story.</a>
Darby went window-shopping in 2008 at the Cold Nose, Warm Heart pet shop on Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.Read the story. (Rosemary McClure/For the Los Angeles Times)
In 2009, Darby and friend Bonnie went camping! The terriers soaked up some rays outside an Airstream trailer they stayed in at Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA. <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2009/oct/25/travel/tr-darby25">Read the story</a>.
In 2009, Darby and friend Bonnie went camping! The terriers soaked up some rays outside an Airstream trailer they stayed in at Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA. Read the story. (Rosemary McClure/For the Los Angeles Times)
During one of his many travels, Darby took a nap -- maybe a catnap? -- at Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa. <a href="http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-darby21-2008sep21-story.html">Read the story</a>.
During one of his many travels, Darby took a nap -- maybe a catnap? -- at Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa. Read the story. (Rosemary McClure/For the Los Angeles Times)
Darby made friends everywhere, like this encounter with then 9-year-old New York City tourist Jules Taylor. Both were staying at Ritz–Carlton, Marina del Rey.
Darby made friends everywhere, like this encounter with then 9-year-old New York City tourist Jules Taylor. Both were staying at Ritz–Carlton, Marina del Rey. (Rosemary McClure/for the Times /)
In 2008, Darby hung out with guests at Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa in Lake Arrowhead, Calif.
In 2008, Darby hung out with guests at Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa in Lake Arrowhead, Calif. (Rosemary McClure/For the Los Angeles Times)
Some people have working dogs, but the Los Angeles Times had Darby the Travel Dog. Darby, a soft coated Whaten terrier, took us on adventures all over California -- and made friends wherever he went.
Some people have working dogs, but the Los Angeles Times had Darby the Travel Dog. Darby, a soft coated Whaten terrier, took us on adventures all over California -- and made friends wherever he went. (Rosemary McClure/For the Los Angeles Times)
Darby checks in at the Ritz Carlton, Marina del Rey, in 2008.
Darby checks in at the Ritz Carlton, Marina del Rey, in 2008. (Rosemary McClure/For the Los Angeles Times)
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