Thumbs down: There's low and then there's the person who shot a therapy dog in Dover Township last week.

Bill Buckingham said he put his English bulldog Barney in an enclosed yard around 3 a.m. Feb. 17 to do his business, then let him back in the house a short time later.

When he awoke a few hours later, Buckingham noticed the dog acting strangely and then discovered him bleeding from the abdomen.

"My hand was full of blood," he said. "I knew it was a gunshot right away. ... It put a hole in Barney the size of a dime."

Buckingham rushed the dog to his veterinarian for treatment and, although Barney isn't out of the woods, his owner is hopeful he'll make a full recovery.

Barney spent nearly a year in training to become a certified therapy dog, Buckingham said, and has been working with hospice patients for three years now.

Northern York County Regional Police, who said the dog was hit with a pellet or a small-caliber projectile, is investigating the shooting. Anyone with information can call police at (717) 292-3647, or leave a tip online at

Thumbs up: Snow days don't have to turn students into couch potatoes.

At the beginning of February, Indian Rock Elementary teacher Sonia Guyer asked her class how many of them had been out in the snow during the previous snow day. Only a few students raised their hands, which surprised their teacher. Guyer figured if she could find time to play outside with her own children, her students should also be outside, taking advantage of the elements while they could.


So when the forecast called for more than 10 inches of snow Feb. 20, Guyer gave her students an informal homework assignment: Build a snowman.

What started as a classroom contest moved spread to the entire York Suburban School District when the school posted the contest on its Facebook page for any resident in the community to enter. Guyer's 22 students selected the winners from 14 entries.

Great idea. Let's just hope that's the last such contest this school year.

Thumbs up: Given the difficult winter, Country Meadows of York retirement community in West Manchester Township wanted to do something special to warm residents' hearts.

Last weekend the facility hosted a wedding vow renewal ceremony for 11 couples with a combined 645 years of marriage.

Irvin and Helena Baughman, husband and wife for 63 years of marriage, were among those exchanging their vows once again.

Their advice for long-lasting relationship?

People give up too easily," said Irvin Baughman, 86. "Stick with it."

"Be in love, be kind to each other," his 88-year-old wife added.