You know how much we love our hounds around here, right?

Now picture having to leave them and go halfway around the world. Picture being in a place where you’re in harm’s way.

You’d worry about yourself but you’d also worry about your hounds, wouldn’t you?

Meet Tanya Marie Nicastri.

Her two hounds are Arthur and Roscoe.

Tanya is a  US Army veteran formerly stationed stationed  at the Perfume Palace in Baghdad, Iraq. Now she works in Baghdad. Arthur and Roscoe are with her mom back in the states. She loves her hounds and misses them.

All you have to do is listen to her to know that.

“Every night I’d clean their ears, brush their teeth, say prayer and I sing them a lullaby.  Not just once in a while, every night.  They have never been too cold or too hot.  They have never slept outdoors.  Matter of fact, they sometimes kick me out of my bed and I sleep in the guest room. Arthur likes his head on the pillow and the blankets tucked in,” Tanya says.

Roscoe’s full name is; Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane II. He considers himself the alpha dog and controls the toys. He may let Arthur have one, especially if he’s bored with it but he always reserves the right to change his mind. When other dogs visit, Roscoe sits back and keeps an eye on things in case anyone gets out of hand. If there’s a brawl, Roscoe, like a talented bouncer, intervenes.

His hobbies includes naps, spying on the neighbors and sneaking up on baby strollers and stealing kisses.

“Once a toddler came running up to us and threw her arms around Roscoe.  She even startled me so I was a bit frightened about his reaction but he just laid down and let her do whatever she wanted,” Tanya says.

Arthur’s full name is Sir Arthur of Sirenia Place. He looks like he should have a pipe, a smoking jacket and a large library. Yet, he does not act the role of a blue blood. He demands constant attention, likes to wake up Roscoe or steal his toys just to get a rise out of him. No lap is safe while he is around and he particularly likes getting his head into blankets to do his nun impersonation.

His hobbies include protecting babies, annoying Roscoe and pouting when he doesn’t receive the attention he deserves.

Both of the boys have a keen sense of when a human needs some TLC. When Tanya’s mom is having a bad day they seem to appear and are quick to rest a head in her lap. Recently, when Tanya’s mom had a friend over who is sick, the boys, without ever meeting the nice lady, didn’t do their usual jumping and barking when she came into the house. Then Roscoe gently jumped up on the couch and rested his head in her lap.

Later this year the boys’ mom is coming.

In the meantime Tanya waits. Tanya’s mom waits. Roscoe and Arthur wait.

And everyone prays.

Let’s join them.

POST SCRIPT: Tanya works with Iraqi kids in a Girl Scout program. Maybe while the big shot leaders around the world negotiate this and that they’ll figure out how to keep peace. I’m not sure how all that works.

But I’m guessing US soldiers taking time to do scouting with kids will go along way to stopping hate.

Tanya needs jump ropes and Hoola Hoops to play with the kids. We’re sending her some. She needs a lot. If you want to help, email me at $10  get a few ropes and Hoola Hoops. Consider it a contribution toward long-term world peace

Spreading world peace...Tanya took this photo of kids getting Girl Scout Cookies