We are walking on a desert-like stretch of the Sheep Creek Delta where current and salt-water soakings make it almost impossible for anything to grow. Aki would rather be on the large beach that borders the old ore house. She loves to run across the sandy expanse and sniff for dog sign left above the high tide line. But there is bird action here. A great blue heron flies a low trajectory in front of us and lands a hundred meters away. Harlequin ducks, mallards, and goldeneyes paddle into the channel just far enough to ensure safety from charging Labrador retrievers. They don’t have to worry about Aki. She ignores waterfowl and refuses to swim.