We stopped at Simon's Town a lovely little town on the eastern coast of Cape Point. It is a big naval base and some warships were parked in the harbour. We wandered through the old rather quant arcades and sat at a harbour cafe for brunch and this is where I picked up the loveliest story.
There was once a Great Dane- he lived in this town during the Second World War, born in 1937, and loved to look after the sailors who alighted for a night on the town. He was often found on the the line between Simon's town and Cape town and he was soon given a special tag on his colour which allowed him to use the train at any time. He was such a regular, looking after the sailors that he was enrolled as an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy.
Apparently he too was subject to transgressions - going AWOL, losing his collar, sleeping with the sailors, and indulging in his favourite drink, bottled lager. He was warm and wonderful to all the sailors and there was genuine sadness when eventually due to ill health, he was put down. His funeral was conducted with full naval honours, his body wrapped in a white ensign, and placed in a grave. His headstone remains in the town that was his home.