Chapter 5 Summary
Opal and the preacher soon learn that Winn-Dixie does not like being left alone. If they leave him alone inside their trailer, he snatches all the cushions off the couch and takes the toilet paper off the roll. So they begin tying him up outside the trailer, but Winn-Dixie howls so loudly that he makes a neighbor’s dog begin howling too. Opal says that this is the kind of noise that is not allowed in the adults-only trailer park, so she convinces the preacher to take Winn-Dixie wherever they go. She reckons that Winn-Dixie feels like his heart is empty when he gets left alone, so the preacher submits, and Winn-Dixie goes with them everywhere, even to church.
The Open Arms Baptist Church is unlike any other. The building used to be the Pick-It-Quick store, and the store’s motto had been fashioned in red tiles on the floor. When the preacher took over the church, he tried to paint over the red tiles, but the paint never stayed and the preacher eventually gave up trying to cover them. Also, the church has no pews, so members of the congregation bring fold-up chairs and lawn chairs to service. Opal figures that since the church is a little strange, Winn-Dixie will fit right in.
The first time Opal and the preacher take Winn-Dixie to church, the preacher ties him to a tree outside the front door. When Opal asks why, her father tells her that dogs do not belong in church. Inside, the singing and praying commences, and from the pulpit, the preacher begins his sermon. But he only utters a few words before Winn-Dixie begins howling outside. The preacher tells Opal to attend to Winn-Dixie, so she goes outside and brings him in among the congregation. Winn-Dixie smiles at the preacher, and all is well until a mouse scurries across the floor.
There have always...
(The entire section is 481 words.)