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Meet Just Nuisance, the Only Dog Ever to be Officially Enlisted in the UK Royal Navy

That's not just any old Great Dane depicted in the statue by artist Jean Doyle. It's "Just Nuisance" (yes, that's his name - we'll get to that later), the only dog ever to be officially enlisted in the United Kingdom's Royal Navy.

Just Nuisance served in Simon's Town, South Africa, for five years. When he died in 1944, he was buried with full military honors.

Wait, you say: how can a dog be officially enlisted? And what's with his unusual name?

Glad you asked. Let me explain.

First, the name. Just Nuisance was a friendly Great Dane that hung around the Simon Town's Naval Base. He grew to be a massive dog - some say about 6.6 ft tall when he stood on his hind legs - and he loved to sleep on top of the gangplanks of docked naval ships. Because of his size, the dog presented an unusual obstacle for sailors trying to get on and off the ship. So they affectionately called him "Nuisance."

Now, onto the how he got enlisted in the Royal Navy.

Okay, so Nuisance liked to follow sailors board the train out of town, and the sailors liked having the dog around for the train ride. But not the train conductors. They complained that the dog paid no fares, so they wanted to get rid of him or put him down.

The sailors didn't like that idea - but they didn't want to keep paying the dog's fare. Someone came up with the clever idea of enlisting the dog. As a member of the armed forces, he could travel on the train for free.

In his enlistment paperwork, his surname was put down as "Nuisance," but as he has no first name, they wrote in "Just."

That's the story of Just Nuisance, the only dog ever to be enlisted in the Royal Navy.

(Photo: Jon Plowman/wikipedia)

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