By Don White, CV&T Staff Writer
Quite often, Anneliese Margot Jaensch treats Jim Cox like a dog.
But not often enough to suit him.
“It’s so cute when he says ‘Honey, do me a favor. Treat me like a dog….please.”
The native of Drip Rock also wouldn’t mind if he got the same attention given their 80-100 chickens, but it’s a house-full of canines that rule the roost.l
Five years ago the couple moved from Red Lick Road to the opposite side of Estill County, after seeing the potential to develop 25 acres of overgrown hillside property on New Fox Road into a paradise for them and their pets.
Besides the dogs of varying sizes and breeds, and chickens, all of which are considered pets and many bearing names, “Critter Ridge” is also home to ducks like Quacker. He has grown old on the farm and walks so slowly now that “he worries me,” says Anneliese, noting he sometimes crawls into her lap to be comforted.
“I’d like to have a pet goat, but Jim says no. He says he doesn’t want a goat in the house,” says the native of northern Germany who came to the United States in 1964 after marrying an American soldier.
A lifelong animal lover, she says her family was very poor, but that didn’t stop her from befriending animals.
She recalls declaring she no longer liked milk, and giving her portion to nurse a stray cat back to health.
Noting her native land is small and cramped; she says she feels blessed to live in the wide-open spaces where her animals have room to roam.
After relocating from Germany to Ohio, she divorced in 1982, and she and Jim have been together since 1987.
He was born in Drip Rock and moved to Cincinnati with his parents at a very young age.
Jim has served in the Air Force, helped manufacture albums for Mercury Records, and is retired from a Cincinnati printing company.
According to Anneliese, she fell in love with this area on visits to see Jim’s relatives.
Among those relatives was Bud Isaacs, his grandfather, a constable whose name is etched into a marker in front of the courthouse honoring fallen lawmen.
The decision was made to move from Ohio to a farm on Red Lick Road in 1997.
“It was beautiful out there, but we lived in a deep hollow and there wasn’t much daylight,” says Anneliese, a Hospice caregiver.
She works on a part-time basis in six counties and takes pride in providing services.
“I don’t like going to parties, weddings, or anniversaries, but it’s an honor to be present at a birth or death,” she says.
As much as she enjoys her work, the farm is where she prefers to be.
“Our friends just don’t understand, but this is Heaven, and we like to piddle around here all day long.
A walk around the farm reveals Jim has been doing a lot more than piddling.
Several buildings, all with names like Chick Inn and Keats Cottage, have been built to house the fowl, and there’s even an attractive get-away cabin for the owners.
“This is where I come to pout, and also when I’m happy,” says Anneliese of her place of refuge named “The Roost for Rest.”
Not a lot of resting takes place on Critter Ridge.
But that’s alright with them.
“I can’t wait for morning to come so I can start all over again,” she says.