When Legend's owner, Kenneth Green, introduces him as a "comfort dog," he's likely to earn a quizzical stare or two. That's OK. After all, Legend is not your typical fur-friend.
The 2-year-old golden Labrador has a noble calling -- to comfort people who are going through hard times. Legend now accompanies Green, the deputy district attorney of Kern County in Bakersfield, California, to the courtroom, where he will lay his head in the lap of a person on the stand if they have to give difficult testimony. He also accompanies Green when he interviews victims of childhood abuse.
"We once met with a 15-year-old molestation victim, who didn't want to share her story," Green told HLN. "When Legend put his head in her lap, she started to cry, and her story came spilling out."
Legend has to stay somewhat undercover when he works his magic in a courtroom, though. His cute face could affect a jury, so Legend must stay hidden under the witness stand until the jury leaves the courtroom.
Legend was originally trained to be a guide dog, but Green said he did not pass the test to become one.
"He hated crossing streets," Green said, "but soon after, we noticed he always had a warm reaction to the kids he came in contact with. At that point, we decided to see if we could retrain him to be a 'comfort dog.'"
Green said training Legend to do "comfort" as a command was no problem. He said kids often feel comfortable talking to Legend, and the dog was comforting children on his own without realizing it.
Legend is now a permanent member of the Kern County District Attorney's Office, and Green said he has the canine's photo on the staff board.
"We're going to add a photo in a suit soon," Green said.