Cape Town, South Africa
December 22, 2005
One of the most unique and heartwarming monuments I have seen in Cape Town so far stands on Jubilee Square in Simon’s Town, overlooking the harbor. It is a bronze tribute to Just Nuisance, probably one of the most loved dogs in South Africa. Seeing the live size bronze statue of the beloved Great Dane and reading about this apparently wonderful dog, the lump in my throat grew bigger. It is a feel-good story, but also a sad one. Here it goes.
Just Nuisance moved with his owner to Simon’s Town for career purposes. Here, this Great Dane, which had another unknown name, was introduced into the world of sailors. Simon’s Town was, and still is, a very important navy base in South Africa. The dog made a lot of friends at the harbor, especially amongst the sailors, and soon the harbor of Simon’s Town was the dog’s second home.
The story goes that the Dane got it’s name because he:a. followed the sailors, who used to feed him and give him treats, everywhere they went and b. because of his size. Great Danes are enormous dogs, and as most dogs do, he often obstructed the way--quite a "nuisance" for the sailors working in the harbor or on the ships.
Everywhere the sailors went, Just Nuisance went, even on the train to Cape Town. Contrary to many of the passengers, the train conductors weren’t keen on the presence of the four-legged traveler: as many dogs, Just Nuisance preferred to spend his time on the train sleeping on the benches and couches. They even asked the Royal Navy to put him down. To prevent their beloved dog from being hurt, the Royal Navy enlisted Just Nuisance in 1939 so he could travel the train, as he got a free pass.
Just Nuisance’s career in the navy was cut short after he was involved in a traffic accident in 1944. Soon after, Just Nuisance was discharged from the army, and on his seventh birthday on April 1, 1944, the beloved Great Dane was put to sleep. To honor Just Nuisance, he was buried with full military honours at Klaver Camp on top of Red Hill, which included a firing party of Royal Marines and a lone Bugler.
From journal Simon's Town - Home of the Penguin