My Dogs Think I'm a Horrible Mother

If my dogs could speak English...well, hell, actually they're getting the message across just fine in Dog-lish--I'm a horrible dog-mommy who tortures them and doesn't let them have any fun.

Exhibit A:  Setting, my back yard.  We're outside, so Moe thinks it's time to throw the ball.  I am often willing to oblige, however, not when I'm doing yard work.  On such occasions, he throws the ball at my feet and then barks (ice-pick-terrier-bark).  I do not like being barked at so I become even more unwilling to throw the ball.  The wheels in his little brain start spinning--"I'll teach her to ignore me!"--and, if possible, even louder barking ensues.  The other night even Porter got sick of it, body-slamming Moe, stealing his toy, and trying to bury it in the corner of the yard just to stop the awful noise.

Exhibit B:  Setting, bedtime.  I stand at the top of the stairs and plead with Porter to try to make it up the stairs on her own.  

"Bella...pretty, pretty princess Bella-bean...Porter-bella...come on sweet pea, let's go to bed...c'mon, c'mon, c'mon...."  

She stands at the bottom of the stairs.  I go downstairs to carry her up, and she retreats to the couch, giving me the dirtiest of looks.  She knows what's coming next--I scoop up all fifty pounds of her, huff and puff up the stairs, and gingerly set her down at the top.  Without so much as a "aww, thanks Mom", she turns tail and heads for her bed.

The thing is, I'd be more than willing to let her sleep downstairs, but then she whines because she's all alone.  The answer--in her mind, at least--is that we all should abandon the second floor of our house and sleep downstairs with her.  Of course, in that scenario, Sweet Husband, Moe, and I would be sleeping on the floor.  We couldn't possibly impose on the princess by sleeping on her couch, now could we?

Exhibit C:  Setting, my bedroom, 4 a.m.  Moe has been sleeping in his basket very well.  So well, in fact, that I've started to notice and wake-up in the middle of the night when he tries to sneak into bed.  This results in a (usually gentle) kick to get him back on the floor.  Only he's started anticipating the kick.  So now, instead of actually trying to get onto the bed, he paces the floor next to the bed and whines.  And whines.  And whines.  

Yes, even half-asleep, this breaks my heart a little.  Yes, I know I'm a horrible dog-mommy.  But, as I'm sure I'll repeat to a kiddo someday, I tell Moe and Porter, "There are starving dogs in Africa.  Compared to them, you guys have it pretty good--regular meals, a warm bed, toys.  Suck it up, guys!"