The dog wrangling gets easier with each walk. I can hold both leashes in one hand most of the time now. I broke down and bought a new harness for Mr. Dog after searching the house high and low. I'm sure his old one will surface now that I've bought another. The new one is nicer than the old and makes for a more comfortable walk. He pulls relentlessly at the leash the whole time, but at least with a harness there's less pressure on his throat and therefore less in the way of choking sounds. As he pulls forward, Esme is often trailing behind as she attempts to pick up another rock or stick to carry in her mouth. They both have missions (his is full speed ahead, while hers is not), and it is my mission to keep them moving at an even keel. They also have completely different reactions to other dogs as they approach. Esme slams on her brakes and digs in her heels. Mr. Dog claws at the pavement like a hamster in a wheel as he attempts to get closer, faster, now! Depending on the size and number of approaching dogs (and the degree of control their owners seem to exert), I may pick up Esme so that I can more easily move us past. She has the same reaction at loud noises or kids on bikes.
I wish I could remember more of what Mr. Dog was like as a little puppy. Was he as much of a dingbat as she is? Will she get smarter with age? She has moments now of looking less like a chubby puppy and more like a small dog.