Sunday, July 27, 2008

A RAGBRAI Love Story


Generally speaking, what happens on RAGBRAI stays on RAGBRAI. That is hardly the case this year for Kevin Ogle, a 1983 Coe graduate from Falls Church, Virginia.

After Northwest Airlines lost one of his bags on his flight to Cedar Rapids, you wouldn't think he would entrust them with his new best friend on the return flight. But there he was Sunday morning, checking in Bo for the flight to his new home.

The family dog -- a rottweiler mix -- died of lymphoma this spring. Kevin, a pastoral counselor, knows all about appropriate grieving processes, so he was in no hurry to get a new dog. But it was "love at first sight" when he met Bo at a Safe Haven of Iowa County booth in Homestead on Thursday.

In addition to biking, Kevin spent the last two days of the ride navigating the considerable logistics of adopting and transporting Bo to Virginia. First there was the online application to complete -- no small task given the spotty Internet reception we've had. He also had to purchase a kennel for transporting Bo -- also a rottweiler mix -- and monitor the weather at each leg of his flight from Cedar Rapids to Minneapolis to Washington, D.C. He looked into renting a car to drive Bo when it looked like temperatures would exceed the 85 degree threshold for flying with animals.

Ultimately, though, Bo was issued a boarding pass and, barring any travel delays, he will soon meet his new family -- Kevin, his wife and sons aged 14 and 10. Kevin keeps hoping to bring his older son with him on RAGBRAI. I'm sure he never imagined bringing a living, breathing piece of RAGBRAI home.

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