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First things first: Opal has got to get rid of the nasty stink that Winn-Dixie is trailing with him.
She gives him a bath (which he is not a fan of), brushes him with her own hairbrush (which he is a fan of, but we are not because ew!), and talks to him.
She tells him about their similarities. For example, like Winn-Dixie, she doesn't have much family other than the preacher. Her mother left when she was only three. So both she and Winn-Dixie are "almost like orphans" (3.2).
She tells him about her friend situation—or lack thereof. All her friends live up in north Florida, in Watley, where she lived before heading south. And then she talks about her mom again. (FYI—Winn-Dixie is listening carefully to all of this.)
She thinks the preacher is still in love with her mama, based on juicy gossip she overheard in Watley, but he's never said anything to Opal about wishing she'd come back. His lips are zipped on that subject, and she's afraid he'll get mad if she asks.
Winn-Dixie gives her the stare treatment, and you know what that means: she needs to ask the preacher about her mom.
Winn-Dixie sneezes, and Opal tells him she'll think about it.
Winn-Dixie is looking good—except for the ribs of course, and the teeth, but his sneezing keeps Opal from brushing his teeth with her toothbrush (double ew!).
She shows him to the preacher, who is falling for the pooch, and Winn-Dixie puts his head on his lap again.
Not content with freaking the preacher out by bringing home a stray dog, she now tells him that because she's ten years old, he should tell her ten things about her mom.