A short thing I wrote for a certain mongolian smoke-signal forum. I figured it would be a waste to just let it go.
A big thanks to NurseBold, Nicolas H, Max D, Tim M, ncskeeter56, Thomas D, Avo, S. Nutter, Lucy B, Lars H, Jesper B, Frogsamurai, Bunny Waffles, LizardMessiah, and Chyymor for being patrons.
An extra big thanks to Spartanstoryteller, Drekin, Teigen S, and HyeoJ for being high-level patrons.
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SECTION: NON-BATTLE APPLICATIONS
Perhaps the most notable place Ninetales holds outside the battle and contest scene is their place in childcare. Ninetales in particular excels at being a service pokemon for autistic or otherwise neurodivergent children. Their human-level intelligence, protectiveness, gentle nature, and pseudo-psychic sensory abilities means the demand for Ninetales is nearly as great as Espeon(See entry #196: Espeon) from special care services.
Sadly, Ninetale's pre-evolution, Vulpix (See entry #36: Vulpix) is a rare pokemon that demands a hefty price from reputable breeders due to Ninetale's long, multi-hundred-year lifespan making them rather slow to breed. Add in the cost of specially training the young Vulpix and the cost of the Firestone needed for evolution, and one is looking at nearly six figures worth of investment. Trainers and families of trainers are reluctant to part with such pokemon as well, since many Ninetales have been with their human family for generations, making donations (of Ninetales) very rare. The pokemon will often be too attached to their family to make an effective and empathetic caretaker to an unfamiliar child anyway.
This leaves the few Ninetales in service stretched thin, and many special childcare services that make use of pokemon have to make the difficult choice to assign their Ninetales based on the need of the client, or to the highest bidder.