Craving for selfless love and true friendship, 37-year-old businessman Ajay Jainkar, is a pet lover. Sharing his story with Free Press, he talked about effects of having a pet in human life. “I can feel the joy of coming home to them, being loved without judgement, being forgiven without apologies… the list is endless for everyone who has pets,” Jainkar said. He owns 12 dogs including a chihuahua, labrador, English mastiff and Saint Bernard.
Talking about how it all began, Jainkar said, “I was seven years old when I saw puppies in a street.” He instantly fell in love with them and wanted to care for them. “I wanted to take them home but the nearby shopkeeper refused to let me take them,” Jainkar said. Urging the owner, he decided to pay for stray puppies. “I agreed to work for shopkeeper for money so that I can take a puppy home,” Jainkar said. He fetched water for shopkeeper for five days earning Re 1 every day.
“That was my first pet Ruby and later I saved money from my allowance and bought more stray puppies home,” Jainkar said. With his growing fondness for pets, he eventually convinced his parents to buy him more pets from stores. “It was never easy to keep pets but I would never let them go even if it meant that I had to leave my house,” Jainkar said. While he was studying in class X, an incident actually forced him to leave home. “I had a Dalmatian and female Doberman sharing my bedroom in our apartment,” Jainkar said. His parents were accustomed to pets by then but other apartment residents had problems. “Someone had complained about my pets and my father got furious.
He asked me to leave them,” Jainkar said. Instead of leaving his pets, he left home. “I took them to my friend’s (Ashutosh Mishra) house, which was about 2.5 kilometres away from my house,” Jainkar said. Mishra too loved pets. “My mother came that night asking me to return home but I refused,” Jainkar said. Next morning, his father brought him home with his pets. “I have had more than 100 dogs of different breeds and all of them hold a special place in my heart,” Jainkar said.
However, his family doesn’t share his passion. “Since my wife and kids do not have the same feelings about dogs, I have a separate farmhouse for my pets where I visit them for four hours every day,” Jainkar said. He spends two hours in the morning with them and another two in evening. “I bought Newfoundland for Rs 2 lakh hoping that my family members would fall for him but it did not work,” Jainkar said. Despite all odds, he spends over Rs 25,000 on his pets, helps street dogs by funding their treatment, providing shelter and giving food.