A beagle and her Zingo

My dog Isabella has a toy that she absolutely adores. We call it Zingo (official name: Wacky Zingoz™) and if you know the popular Webkinz™ toys from the early 00’s, you may remember it. It’s essentially a triangle with a face and arms and legs. In its original form, Zingo has a voice; when you press its center, it says one of its phrases in a high pitch voice. (Note: Rare is the voice box that is a match for Isabella’s adoration; she loves the sound right out of most of her toys before they can get on my nerves, thanks be to God!)

Isabella absolutely loves Zingo. When she was a puppy, we had to make sure we had one with us on trips or she would be so agitated we could do nothing with her. The problem? You can’t get Wacky Zingoz™ in stores any more. The only place you can find them is on eBay or some other such used-goods site. So, occasionally I go online to search out Zingos. I’ll buy one or two whenever I can find them so I have extras–just in case.

Of course, Isabella knows none of this. Isabella just knowsthat Zingo makes her feel better. She doesn’t know that if she lost the one shehas now, I would just give her the one that I have as a backup. Isabella thinksZingo makes her life whole. The truth is, I am the one who provides her withZingo.

Anyway, I’ve used this example in sermons because Isabella’s love for Zingo makes a great illustration. You know: the power is not in the toy, but in the toy provider. In the story, Zingo plays the idol that distracts humanity—played by Isabella. And yeah, I play the loving provider who indulges beloveds. Not a bad gig if you can get it, amirite?

Recently, I used this story as my children’s message andtook a couple of Zingos as props: Well-loved (aka smelly and gross) Zingo fromIsabella’s toy basket and Brand-new Zingo that stays hidden in my closet. Toprotect the congregation, I slipped Well-loved Zingo into a plastic baggy so thatit could keep its aroma to itself. When I got home, Isabella spied her Zingo inplastic and couldn’t wait for me to get it out. She took matters in her ownpaws and I videoed the exchange.

Isabella frees Zingo

By Aileen MItchell Lawrimore

Aileen Mitchell Lawrimore is a mother x 3, wife x 35 (years not men), minister, speaker, writer, retreat leader, and lover of beagles and books. She has a lot to say.