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Dear Elizabeth – Charmeleon Edition

I decided to run an agony aunt column. Image Credit: Braintechinc

At one point in my career, I was receiving so many letters from people asking for help with their Pokémon, I decided to run an agony aunt column. Here a couple of my Charmeleon-related questions and answers:

Dear Elizabeth,

I have a Charmeleon called Andy that I raised from a Charmander. He was my first Pokémon and he was so well behaved when he was a Charmander. He’d sleep at the end of my bed, walk me to school with my mum and even help out with the chores while I was at school. However, ever since he evolved, he just hasn’t been himself. We made him his own little outhouse in the yard but he slashed at it with his claws in a rage like I’ve never seen before. He has also ruined mum’s garden and he stands outside my window all night yowling at me. Funny thing is, though, that he is absolutely fine at behaviour classes. The teacher is astounded when I tell him about what a terror he is at night. Please can you help, as my mum is near giving up and I really don’t want to get rid of him.

Yours,
Edna


Dear Edna,

This sounds like a classic case of anxiety disorder. You obviously love your Pokémon very much and very rightly gave your Charmander plenty of attention. You slept together, played together, and in the day he had your mum to help out. However, when he evolved, he was moved to an outhouse. Outhouses can be great ideas for some Pokémon that evolve to be too large for living in the house. However, Charmeleon is very much a pack animal. To you and your mum, the outhouse was both a loving gesture – building him a special place just for him to stay. However, to your Charmeleon, it feels as if he is being cast outside, away from his pack.

My advice would be to make every attempt to move Charmeleon’s living quarters indoors. Do you have a spare room? Or a large storage cupboard that you could repurpose? Once he has a space within the emotional safety of the family home, you can set some boundaries such as when he should stay in there and when he can come out. Set specific slots where you spend time together – preferably make this a few hours of training or exercise. Remind him that someone is always nearby – if everyone needs to leave the house, it’d be best to take him with you rather than leave him alone.

If there is no way for Charmeleon to live indoors, I would suggest finding a partner for your Pokémon. It doesn’t really matter what type of Pokémon, but preferably someone that is his level and someone he can get along with. Camp outside with your Charmeleon and his new pal for at least two weeks. Next, step this down to three nights a week for a further two weeks, and finally one night per week for a final two weeks. By this end of this gradual adjustment period, your Charmeleon’s confidence in his space should grow.

Best of luck,
Elizabeth

*

Dear Elizabeth,

I have had my Charmeleon for five years now. He was a rescue from an abandoned Pokémon shelter; I think he is about 30 years old but we’re not sure. We used to train together, but he started to get less and less energy as he got older – this is normal, right?! – so I don’t particularly train him anymore. He is more of a family member and spends his days hunting rabbits in our field and his nights guarding the grain store – this was Pappa’s idea of ways to keep him active and give him a purpose. We haven’t got a room for him, but Pappa lets him sleep on the couch.

We got a new couch not too long ago and ever since, Charmeleon has been scratching it. Its made Pappa really mad, as it cost a fair bit and it is in tatters now. Why is Charmeleon scratching the new couch?

Thanks
George

Hi George!

Thanks for writing in, I’m glad you decided to give Charmeleon such a loving home. Have you considered taking Charmeleon to the Pokémon Centre just to get him a check over? Charmeleon can be quite lazy, but 30-35 isn’t too old for a Charmeleon, so I’d be surprised if his fatigue was age related. If he is getting tired a lot, he may be being overworked (hunting at night then guarding in the day would be strenuous on anyone!). The destructive behaviour you described seems like a reaction to frustration. His tiredness might be causing him some stress. This may also be exacerbated by only having the couch to sleep on – he would have to wait until everyone went to bed before he could get complete peace for deep sleep. Space is often an issue for Pokémon owners, but it would be best if you could find a quiet place such as a cupboard where he can get some alone time.

Keep me posted,
Elizabeth

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