After two months of training, Amigo -- a 20-month-old Golden retriever -- officially started his new job as the first courthouse dog in Colorado at the Boulder County Justice Center on Friday.
Amigo's first day was not unlike any other employee's first day. First he got his new uniform -- a harness with the seal of the 20th Judicial District -- and toured the Justice Center, greeting some of his new co-workers in between trips to the courtyard and playing with his bone.
But it won't be all play for very long. Amigo was brought in to help comfort victims and witnesses during trials, and DA Stan Garnett said Amigo is set to work his first case -- a sexual assault trial -- on Monday.
"We're going to put him to work," Garnett said. "He just has to come in and be a dog."
Amigo was chosen by a program that selects dogs specifically for courthouse duties, and he is specially trained to remain calm and quiet in office settings and allow people to pet him.
"I'm amazed with how calm he is for such a young puppy," said Kim Stalnacker, a Boulder victim's advocate who takes Amigo home at night as his primary handler.
Stalnacker said Amigo's role is best described by his name, the Spanish word for friend.
"We're hoping he can be a friend to victims and witnesses," she said.