Photos: Cultivating community connections with love, sheep

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BRATTLEBORO — Sheep from The Love Sheep project headed to the Retreat Meadows with some snow removal equipment on a recent afternoon to help clear off the ice.

What started three and half years ago with Walter Hagedorn putting the toy sheep on his lawn as a gag has grown into a social art project, says the owner of Sensation Productions and chief project coordinator for The Love Sheep project.

"Since 2015, fans of 'The Love Sheep' have flocked to witness me playing with the herd in my front lawn," Hagedorn said. "The Love Sheep project cultivates community connection and delivers happiness to a growing global audience of dedicated 'Sheep Peepers.'"

With a smile on his face, Hagedorn operates miniaturized snow removal vehicles and tries to capture the moments on his phone for a blog.

Hagedorn said the sheep are therapeutic to him, so he is working with a factory to produce 1,000 more toy sheep that could potentially bring joy to others.

"I would love to see other people experiencing what I'm experiencing when I am playing with the sheep," Hagedorn said.

From building rockets to traveling to far away places such as India and Puerto Rico, The Love Sheep project has acquired thousands of fans from around the world.

"They are non-offensive, non-political; they don't care for much of human issues," Hagedorn said. "If you want good, clean fleece fun, The Love Sheep is what you want to follow."

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