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RAINS COUNTY, Texas -- On an 85-acre family farm in Point, Texas, she was a fixture.

If cows were out here, I'd say 'Candy! Go this way to the right!' said Cole Middleton, as he whistled, and she'd go gather them to the right. She'd look back at me the whole time like, 'Daddy, what do I need to do?' I could whistle and tell her, 'Go to the left, you forgot one.' And she'd go all the way back.

Candy was Middleton's 2-year-old blue heeler. Friday afternoon, she was in the back of Middleton's truck as it sat in his driveway. Middleton was working in the pasture.

He had called the Rains County Sheriff's Department hours earlier to report a break in. Someone got in his home and stole guns, electronics, and his wife's jewelry.

Rains County Deputy Jerrod Dooley got to the Middletons a few hours after the call came in. His in-car camera was rolling as he pulled down the long driveway, parking right behind Middleton's truck.

Candy is seen and heard barking, then jumping out of the truck and out of the camera's view, so what happened next is not on video.

Deputy Dooley said while Candy didn't bite him, she charged at him. And he shot her. A vet said the dog was hit in the back of her head.

The video from that dash camera shows Dooley breaking the news to Middleton.

Partner, you're about to be upset, but your dog charged me and I had to shoot it, he said.

My God, no! No! No! No! Middleton screams.

Calm down! calm down! Dooley tells him.

The dog's owner collapsed in a heap over Candy as she was whimpering and trying to stay alive. Middleton said she would never have survived.

The bullet went in the back of her head and came out near her eye, he said.

She was suffering. So, to put her out of her misery, Middleton held her head in a bucket of water.

I did the unimaginable, but it had to be done so she could go home, he said.

Dooley went to his car and called for backup.

Get me some help out here, now, Dooley said on his police radio.

When officers arrived, Middleton got out his cell phone and began recording, and an officer mugged for the camera.

Hi mom! the officer said, waving at the camera. Hi Channel 8! Hi YouTube!

Middleton was outraged.

Just unbelievable. The waving and the taunting, he said.

He put the video and Candy's story online in a facebook page called Justice for Candy Middleton and now the Rains County Sheriff's Office is inundated with complaints.

Over and over, and hundreds and hundreds of calls and you pick it up, and it's immediate cussing and vulgar, said Sheriff David Traylor.

Thursday he fired Jerrod Dooley, who told the sheriff he was bitten by a dog on a prior job a few years earlier.

By no means am I saying he's guilty of anything at this time, other than poor judgment, Traylor said. He said his department will conduct a full investigation, and if criminal charges are warranted against Dooley, he'll suggest them.

His career is ruined in this community. And there's been threats toward him, threats toward this department, Traylor said. I think my officers would be in danger if he was still out there.

Middleton said the threats should stop.

You will never see that from me or my family. Obviously, I can't control the masses, but we do not condone that type of behavior, he said.

He said Dooley's firing brings some relief, but little comfort.

This cost me my best friend -- a child, he said.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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