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My Warf Ate My Homework: Problem Petpets

by pluie


NEOPIA CENTRAL - Has your Krawkadon eaten everything in your Neohome, including your sofa? Does your Pinklet have a bit of a gambling problem? Are the neighbors complaining about your Puppyblew’s incessant howling? What, has your Kadoatie got your tongue - literally? If so, never fear; Doctor D., renowned Petpet psychologist, is here!

Unruly Petpets are a problem in many a Neopian household, from paranoid Grackle Bugs to pouty Peos. Here, I will be addressing a few common concerns of the Petpet owner, in the form of letters written to me by concerned Neopians such as yourself.

Well then, let the learning begin!

Dear Dr. D.,

My pet’s Selket seems to have a bit of a digging problem. Our family has had a few Selkets before, and they’ve all done their fair share of digging, but none so much as this particular Selket. I wouldn’t mind so much if not for the fact that, unfortunately, his little digging problem has led to a big hole in my front lawn. Could you tell me why this Selket seems to dig so much, and how to prevent it?

-A Lady Who Loves Her Lawn

Dear Lawn- Loving Lady,

Digging is a natural instinct for many Lost Desert Petpets, such as the Selket, making it a hard behavior to prevent, and impossible to eliminate entirely. In the wild, many Petpets bury themselves underground to hide from predators. Could there possibly be something in your yard frightening your Selket? Remember- to a skittish Selket, nearly anything could be seen as a potential predator, from a garden gnome to a pink lawn Lenny. I suggest taking a careful look around the yard, and removing any possibly scary objects. If your Selket, though, continues to dig excessively with no apparent cause, I suggest buying a sand box to put the Selket in while out in the yard, where he can burrow to his heart’s content. That way, he can feel safe, and you can relax. Also, it might be helpful to teach your Selket to dig on command. A little gardening help never hurt anyone, you know, and it would be a good channel for some of that excessive nervous energy your Selket seems to have.

Dear Dr. D.,

I just got an Ownow, whom I have christened Piggy. I love Piggy very much, but she eats everything in sight! Yesterday, while I was at Neoschool, she devoured my entire Usuki collection! My owner says that if Piggy continues munching her way through our belongings, I’ll have to get rid of her. What should I do?

-A Worried Wocky

Dear Worried Wocky,

Ownows are widely known for their voracious appetites and tendency to raid refrigerators for tasty leftovers. Normally, though, they won’t go as far as to eat inedible items. Does most of Piggy’s unwanted snacking occur when no one is home? It is possible that she is simply lonely and bored, and is using eating as a way to entertain herself while you’re gone. Buying your Ownow something to entertain herself with, such as a Squeaky Larnikin Toy, will probably solve the problem. If Piggy continues to eat you out of house and home, you may be forced to confine her in a crate whenever you aren’t around to monitor her. It may seem harsh, but if your Ownow happens to eat something poisonous, the consequences could be disastrous.

Dear Dr. D.,

Help! I received a Meepit as a birthday gift from my owner, but, even though I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it, I’m scared of it. In fact, I practically haven’t slept a wink since I got it last week. It follows me everywhere. I’ve heard some pretty creepy stories about those things. I know they’re not true, but I can’t get them out of my head. I don’t want to hurt my owner’s feelings, though, by telling her I don’t like my new Petpet. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can overcome my fear?

-A Terrified Techo

Dear Terrified Techo,

Being scared of your Petpet is perfectly normal, especially if your Petpet happens to be a Meepit. Those big, staring eyes of theirs tend to creep people out. Meepits, though, are generally friendly little creatures who love the company of their owners. Spend some time bonding with your new Petpet. Most likely, you’ll learn to love it, even if it does take a while. However, if you find yourself unable to overcome your fear, you will have to confront your owner. If you can’t give your Meepit the love and care it needs, it is important to find someone who can.

Dear Dr. D.,

I recently bought a Doglefox, who we call Henry, for my youngest pet. Henry is a lovable, adorable Doglefox, until you try and leave him alone, even if just for a few minutes. Then, he begins to howl. And howl. And howl. The neighbors are beginning to gripe about the constant noise, but my pet has become extremely attached to her new Doglefox, so I don’t want to get rid of it. Is there any way to stop the howling?

-A Concerned Caretaker

Dear Concerned Caretaker,

If your Doglefox Henry only begins to howl when he is alone, he is most likely suffering from either boredom, as the Ownow I mentioned earlier, or separation anxiety. Since your Doglefox begins howling after only a few minutes of solitude, however, he is most likely suffering from the latter. Separation anxiety, or in more simple terms, a fear of being away from their owners, is an all too common problem in Petpets. Petpets generally see their family as a pack, which in the wild, would depend on one another for survival. When the alpha-pack members (a.k.a. you and your pets) leave, your Doglefox is left alone and defenseless. Nothing is likely to hurt your Doglefox with him safe inside of your Neohome or yard, but it may take some time for him to realize that.

Patience is key when dealing with separation anxiety. Begin to leave your Doglefox alone for only a few minutes at a time, and only a room or two away from you. After a few minutes, go back to your Doglefox, and reassure him that you’re still there. After a few tries with this technique, your Doglefox will no longer howl, at least when you’re not gone for very long. Gradually increase the amount of time that you leave your Doglefox alone, until he can stand to be on his own. Be sure to praise your Doglefox when he’s quiet, but remember not to scold him if he’s not - he’s just scared. Good luck with the training!

Dear Dr. D.,

Ever since I got a Khonsu, I’ve been losing at everything! I’ve heard that they’re bad luck- can a Petpet really be unlucky?

-A Superstitious Shoyru

Dear Superstitious Shoyru,

There has never been any evidence to deny the claim that Khonsu are unlucky- however, there has been quite a lot of evidence to support it. Ever since ancient times, the owners of Khonsu have had unusually bad luck, whether it be falling into underground tombs with no escape, or having every stock they buy go completely bankrupt. I am not verifying that Khonsu are, in fact, unlucky. Even I cannot honestly answer that question. I do suggest, however, that you go and buy yourself as many good luck charms as you can afford. With a Khonsu around, you’ll most likely need them!

Well, that’s all the time I have for today. I have just received an urgent call from an owner claiming her Blibble has become inexplicably evil, and is formulating a plan to overthrow the Neopian economy by use of Radioactive Muffins. Till next time, I’m Dr. D., taming Neopia’s unruly Petpets one at a time.

Need some Petpet advice from Dr. D.? Feel free to Neomail me with any questions or comment you might have for her, and I’ll be sure she receives them.

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