Simon and Beertjie
Simon [*name has been changed] (16) recently joined the Underdog Project and was paired with Beertjie. ‘I’ve had dogs since I was small – only pit bulls. I love Beertjie and I like playing with him, but I get annoyed when he doesn’t listen. My pit bulls always listen to me; I used to scream at them when they didn’t. But when I was small, one bit me, which taught me to talk nicely to them. Beertjie loves playing, and I like to play with dogs now. Before I came [to Underdog], I used to tell dogs to go away or throw stones at them, but now I call them and give them water. I see that if I talk nicely to Beertjie, he listens to me. I thought dogs were only for fighting. I love this place and I love dogs.
‘I don’t talk nicely to my mom and I’m rude to her because she’s overprotective, and my dad wants nothing to do with me. Anya is like my family because I don’t see my family often. Most of my friends are gangsters so I want to make new friends. After I finish school, I want to work here with the dogs or play soccer. I want to make some money for my mom because she has to work at the factory even though she’s sick, and I love her.’