I'm not familiar with the storyline, or the map really, but would it be possible to just run from or avoid every battle involving lower leveled pokemon and get to the Virbank Complex to catch a Growlithe? From there you could just split xp by having Snivy lead and switch Growlithe in immediately. I mean it would suck but I'm just trying to think of ways to make it work. Also I enjoyed reading your post. I got a few laughs from it.