December 24 2004. I am passing outside a pet shop. I stop to see the window. A puppy playing happily in a cage. With no second thought I rush into the shop. “How much for the puppy?” “Nothing, it’s not a breed to sell!” My smile gets wider! “Can I hold it in my arms?” “Of course you can!” I take it in my hands. It is biting my fingers and licking my face! The spark gets fired. And suddenly a great love comes to life. It is female. I already know its name. ‘Melina’. I put it back in its cage, thank the shopkeeper and rush back home. “We are going to have a dog in the house”, I announce overjoyed! “Don’t even think of that”, my mother warns. “We will! I’m telling you!” I almost yell to her. And the race begins. “I’ll bring it over”, I say. “You will be thrown out along with your puppy!” “No, I say I’ll bring it here”. “Go to your own house and pack it with dogs, if you want to”. “Oh no, I will bring it here”! I say.
In the afternoon I go back to the shop. I watch the puppy sleeping blissfully. It tears my heart apart. It is Christmas night and yet another creature is left alone… I’m going back home. Headlong in the battle! I shout the same words again and again. “I will bring the puppy no matter what; I don’t care if you all blow yourself up”! Days pass… December 31. The puppy is still on display. I take the plunge. I step in the shop and ask to have it. I put it in my jacket; buy all necessary paraphernalia and rush back home, in pride. My mother is now suffering spasms. “Take it, take it away from me”, she is yelling. I put it in my room. It hides under my bed. I’m chasing it… and the game begins. A game that is still going on so many years later. Melina running in the house playing devil in its passing. Tables, chairs, carpets. Shiting everywhere. Climbing on tables, beds and sofas. Hugging and kissing every one of us. Bringing her toys to us to play with her. Going out for long strolls. Melina. My Melina. My first daughter. My beautiful child. And as to my family: The next day they adore her! They wake up earlier than me to prepare her milk! Feeding her by hand. Embracing and kissing her again and again. Melina. A fine puppy full of energy and kindness. Melina, who never rejected Lucky when Lucky was brought home and always allowed Lucky to taste her own food. Melina, who gave way to bed for Lucky to sit in. Melina, who, when Laky died, wept with tears… My Melina. My partner. My pride. My child, who cannot be exchanged for all the riches in the world, for all the glory, for the greatest love, for the most beautiful trip. Why? Because she herself is all to me.
Each year since that date, on 31/12 we celebrate her birthday. Her inclusion into my own family. Her presence, which changed my life and brought new meaning, happiness and hope to me. We buy a cake, blow out the candles and sing «Happy Birthday to you».
My precious daughter, this year, on your ninth birthday, one more time I wish many happy returns and may we live to spend many years together. May you live in health, beauty and happiness. My dear Melina, I owe you so much… As an acknowledgment of love and thankfulness I devote you this short memorandum. Your father Giorgis.