Winn-Dixie helps Opal get a job at the pet store. Opal had gone to the store to get a collar and leash for her dog, but she couldn't afford the one she "absolutely loved". She explains her situation to the man behind the counter, and asks if he could set her up on an installment plan, where she would take the items now and promise to give him her allowance each week until she is paid up. He says, "I don't think I can do that", so Opal then suggests that she could work at the pet store to earn the money to pay for the collar and leash. The man is thinking about this when Opal adds that if she does work at the store, Winn-Dixie would have to come in with her, because he gets upset if they are separated for too long. The man responds that Gertrude, his parrot, does not like dogs, but Opal argues that "she might like Winn-Dixie...almost everybody does". Opal lets her dog in, and Gertrude and Winn-Dixie stare at each other for a long time, after which the parrot flies out and lands on the dog's head, croaking, "Dog!" When the man sees that the two are going to get along just fine, he gives Opal the job (Chapter 8).