On Sunday we drove up the coast to Santa Barbara and to a dog-friendly beach called Arroyo Burro Beach, also known as Hendry's Beach.
I found out about the beach in 'The Dog Lover's Companion to California', which I'd bought as a gift for Charlie at Christmas, to help us explore more of our surrounding West Coast of America.
My partner and I have been together almost ten years and we've wanted a dog pretty much ever since we met, so it's only natural that we would want to take Cooper with us whenever we can when we are out exploring Southern California.
Hopefully this book will be invaluable for our adventures as it has top tips on where to stay, places to visit and lots of dog-friendly venues to dine.
Anyway, easily found on Cliff Drive, Hendry's Beach is a nice long stretch of sandy and pebbled beach, with an on and off-leash area on the beach for dogs.
It has some interesting sun-bleached fallen trees along the shore and in the distance you can see some off-shore oil rigs (which doesn't spoil the view as much as you'd think).
Across from this beach on the Californian mainland you can see some of the Channel Islands National Park (made up of five islands - Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and Santa Barbara).
Apparently they have a wonderful array of bird and plant life and you can also go whale watching on your way to the islands. I think that sounds like a plan for the future, although Cooper may have to stay at home for that one.
As well as being pup's first real swim in the Pacific Ocean, he also had a fantastic time fetching his tennis ball along the sandy shore and splashing through the waves after his frisbee.
As always everyone seemed to love Cooper at the beach. He's forever getting compliments and everyone is always surprised to find out he's only ten months old (due to his sturdy size).
Funnily enough a lot of people also ask us what breed he is, which always seems so strange to us, as he's so obviously a yellow Labrador retriever. But he is an English Lab, which compared to their American counterparts are shorter and squatter and have squarer heads (which we did not know until we moved here and got Cooper).
I've also had loads of enquiries through my blog about his breeder and several people have actually found their new puppies through Cooper's exploits here at Jason in Hollywood.
Don't worry I'm not on commission but I do get a real sense of satisfaction thinking that people have found their own 'mini-Cooper' to enrich their lives.
Fortunately, people didn't seem to mind the prospect of having a wet and sandy dog splashing all over them. I'm sure it's all part of the fun of a dog beach.
Hendry's Beach, as the locals call it, is only about ten minutes drive along the coast to downtown Santa Barbara, so it's great if you want to make a day of it like we did.
Although a word of warning, 'officially' dogs are not allowed in any of Santa Barbara County's restaurants, even outside on the patio areas.
The beach has towering cliffs along its curving coastline which makes for an interesting walk for us humans, although with all of the other dogs to have fun with with, it's less of a walk and more of an adventure playground for dogs.
For those of you planning a visit get there early as the parking there is limited, but it is free which is a bonus. We'd originally intended to drive up on Saturday afternoon, but luckily (depending on how you look at it) one of our cars needed a change of battery, which made us drive up early on Sunday morning instead.
There are public restrooms next to the lone restaurant by the beach and showers to wash away the sand from the beach.
It also looks like they are building some new dog shower units for you to wash your canine pals after their exploits at the beach, which sounds like a great idea. Hopefully they'll be working by the next time we visit, as Cooper has developed an aversion to taking a bath after enjoying it so much as a pup.
We enjoyed the sun, sand and ocean for a few hours and then headed off to enjoy the delights of the Santa Barbara waterfront.
Come back tomorrow for more sights from Jason (and Cooper) in Santa Barbara...