Old sea dogs (and cats) boosted morale in navy

Apparently only one dog has ever been admitted to the Royal Navy. Able Seaman Just Nuisance was a Great Dane who served in South Africa between 1939 and 1944.

Friday, 22nd April 2016, 6:03 am
Scatters, the ships cat in battleship HMS Dreadnought
Scatters, the ships cat in battleship HMS Dreadnought

He got his surname from his habit of sleeping in narrow ships’ corridors while they were moored at the naval docks in Simonstown.

He got his first name, ‘Just’, in order to fill the blank space on the official documentation when he was enlisted.

Just Nuisance was seconded into the Royal Navy to stop the local train operator from having him put down for his habit of boarding trains and travelling for free.

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The ships dog in HMS Resolution at ease using a sailors cap as a pillow, a greatcoat as a blanket and a smoke to, allegedly, prevent sea sickness

Once he had a naval rating he could then be issued with an official free train pass.

Although he never went to sea, Just Nuisance did once go up in a naval plane.

He was buried with full military honours, and there’s now a festival every year in Simonstown honouring him and any lookalikes.

Today we take a look at other sea dogs, and their feline counterparts who became much-loved unofficial members of ships’ companies and who did go to sea.

DOGGY PADDLE Portsmouth-based frigate HMS Richmond stopped in the Caribbean in 2005 to allow the ships company to go for a swim and Casper the drug detection dog was not going to miss out on the chance of a paddle. He loved the warm water, once he had been lowered into it. These two pictures were taken by, wait for it, LA (Phot) Jack Russell...
Casper, all at sea
Whiskey the dog in a hammock on board submarine HMS L23
The ships dog in HMS Resolution at ease using a sailors cap as a pillow, a greatcoat as a blanket and a smoke to, allegedly, prevent sea sickness
DOGGY PADDLE Portsmouth-based frigate HMS Richmond stopped in the Caribbean in 2005 to allow the ships company to go for a swim and Casper the drug detection dog was not going to miss out on the chance of a paddle. He loved the warm water, once he had been lowered into it. These two pictures were taken by, wait for it, LA (Phot) Jack Russell...
Casper, all at sea
Whiskey the dog in a hammock on board submarine HMS L23