Monday, October 20, 2008

Life's a beach when you're off-leash...

Following our pup's first visit to the beach and his second misty Sycamore Cove adventure, on his third visit to the ocean we decided he deserved to run around off-leash (think of it as a belated six month birthday present).
Sycamore Cove pup in motion
Now that's it's off-season and there's no lifeguard on patrol at the beach, we were able to let Cooper run free and he loved it (and so did we).  
Dog ears flapping
The last time we'd been to the beach at the end of September the Marine Layer still hadn't burned off by the time we arrived so it was really foggy, but this time we had a fabulously sunny morning.
Sycamore Cove beach puppy
The beach was almost deserted that early, the sky was a deep blue, the sun warming with a gentle breeze - it's days like these that reinforce that we made the right decision to move to L.A.
Shake it off pup
As fans of Cooper will know, he's a Sandylands Labrador breed of English decent, but after a few minutes on the beach we're thinking maybe we should rename him a 'sandy-nose' Labrador.
Sandy-nosed pup racing down the beach
As ever we took absolutely loads of pictures, over 200 images (thank god for digital cameras).  Here's just a selection of the fantastic photos of us playing with our pup on the beach (it's so hard to choose the best).
Cooper & Co at Sycamore Cove
Luckily we had a friend in town who was staying with us who was able to take some pictures of the three of us together, something which usually never happens.
Sycamore Cove beach boys
After a few days and nights of eating out around L.A., at Basix in West Hollywood, Mark's Restaurant on La Cienega Blvd and at La Piazza in the lovely Saturday afternoon sunshine at The Grove, it was great to have a race up and down the beach to get some much needed exercise.
Fun racing through the waves
I have big plans for my pup, hopefully he's going to become my running companion, especially when we go up Runyon Canyon
Beach running at Sycamore Cove
There's nothing quite like running on a sandy beach (though it's slightly easier on wet sand). 
Racing up the beach
Cooper's not afraid to dive into the ocean, but he is still fascinated by the crashing waves.  
The crashing waves at Sycamore Cove
I think we needed a ball or something to throw into the sea to encourage him to have a proper swim.  
Wave pup
Maybe the freezing waters of the Pacific Ocean were putting him off too.  It helps when the sun is still shining to warm him up and dry him off.
Surf pup
He's such an energetic dog and so resilient and strong already at six months (he can easily keep up), that he's going to need lots of exercise to keep him happy and stimulated in the future.
Wet beach pup
I hope you can see from his facial expressions and bounding personality how happy a dog Cooper is.  
Coop and his dad Charlie at Sycamore Cove
He's such a bundle of joy and this morning a fellow dog walker told me to cherish this 'puppy time', as they grow up so fast.
Seaweed pup
At the beach he also enjoyed digging in the sand, slightly perplexed by why he had to keep digging in the same spot whilst the sand poured back into the hole he was creating. 
Stick fun at Sycamore Cove
Cooper had lots of fun with the sticks, seaweed and pine-cones washed up on the shore, literally falling over himself with excitement!
Falling over in excitement
I think he liked the salty taste of the sticks on the beach and as always choose the most difficult shaped one to play with.
Beach stick pup
When you see how much fun he has at the beach you never mind the over an hour long drive to Ventura County where they allow dogs on the beach.
Cooper's running face
Sycamore Cove beach is a pretty stretch of sand, with bleached driftwood dotted along the shore.  
Bleached fallen tree at Sycamore Cove
You often see people surf fishing from the shore (though luckily not on Sunday) or families and friends having barbecues or parties at the picnic areas.  
Sycamore Cove rocks
This time of year, I think that begins to happen less and less, but as we were leaving around 11am it was still starting to fill up with people.
Sycamore Cove shoreline
Finally here's me and my pup just enjoying the beach-life...
Jason & Cooper at Sycamore Cove
Start getting excited Coop, our next beach visit it's frisbee time...

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