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. 

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.

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