Today Cooper and I braved the Freeway solo and made our way to Huntington Dog Beach for a morning of chasing tennis balls along the sandy shore.
For some the hour or so drive down to the Orange County beach from West Hollywood may not be such a big deal, but having only been driving for the last two years and very rarely on the Freeway, especially on my own, it was a bit of an achievement for me today.
I've wanted to take our two year old yellow Labrador to the fantastic dog beach on my own for a while now, but lately haven't had the time.
So now that we've moved to our new condo and Cooper is settling in so well to his new home and the surrounding neighbourhood I thought he deserved a special outing.
We waited for the morning rush hour traffic to clear and seemed to sail down to Huntington Beach.
It's a shame to say it wasn't the case when we returned just after lunchtime, as it took at least an extra 45 minutes to get back.
It was a bit overcast when we arrived, but still really warm, and as you can probably tell from the photos and short video, it didn't bother Cooper in the slightest.
To be honest it was probably better for him as the way he races around the shoreline, too much sunshine and he'd probably overheat.
It was refreshing to take a break from our morning walk around Runyon Canyon and really great to be able to launch Cooper's tennis ball far up the beach for him to race after.
As usual he was fascinated by the waves, the floating seaweed and the surfers in the distance. He was tempted to go for a swim in the ocean whilst watching his fellow Labradors retrieving their toys, but I think the strong currents scared him off a bit.
That didn't stop him from having a ball though and after an hour of chasing up and down the sand and surf we headed back. After bath-time you can see how tired he was from the morning's activities.
Now that we've made the trip safely and relatively quickly in relation to other Ventura County or Santa Barbara dog-friendly beaches, I'm sure it's not the last time we'll take a drive down to Huntington Beach.
Now to make the most of the time whilst my exhausted, snoring pup sleeps...