The Things We Do for Love: "I Choose My Job Assignments Based on My Dog"

Credit: Mandy Walters

Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, will share the stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love.


Mandy Walters was ecstatic when she was hired last year by the U.S Department of State to become a Foreign Service officer. The application and hiring process can take a while and, after five years of waiting, Walters was ready to begin her dream job … as long as her dog, Hannah, could come along.

Credit: Mandy Walters
Hannah approves of her new digs.

Before accepting the job, which involves working at U.S. embassies throughout the world, Walters did her research and made sure her 5-year-old Golden Retriever could be part of the deal. Walters also spoke with Hannah’s vet about what moving around might mean for her dog. Her vet advised her, “Animals are resilient; they bounce back. She just wants to be with you.”

So Walters packed up her belongings, and she and Hannah headed to Washington, D.C., for a yearlong training period prior to her first assignment in Kyrgyzstan, a small country located in Central Asia.

Access to Care and Supplies

While training in D.C. before she starts her new post this spring, Walters is busy researching what life abroad with Hannah will be like. She’s making preparations with her vet regarding the vaccinations and paperwork she needs to take her dog overseas. Walters is also looking into local veterinary care, access to pet supplies and determining just how dog-friendly her new community will be.

Fortunately, Walters discovered other people at the embassy who have dogs, so she’ll have a good support network and a built-in dog-loving community. In some ways, she’ll even have some added benefits. “Hannah will have a great life while we’re there. We’ll have a housekeeper who can walk her while I’m at work,” Walters says.

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