As many of you know, I have been photographing the Riggi family and their pets for almost 18 years now. Many of the dogs, the Posh Palazzo Pups as many calls them, have been rescued or saved with very serious illnesses and issues. As most people would turn them away or have them euthanized from their illnesses, Ron & Michele Riggi have always opened their hearts and home to them. I can just imagine the expense in veterinarian bills in order to care for the Posh Palazzo Pups properly. There are not many people that I know that would take on such a task with the love and support that Ron & Michele has displayed. I witness firsthand the love, attention, hugs and puppy kisses that Ron and Michele give to all of their pets. I love seeing Ron over the years, using his daddy voice and expressing his love to each pup. Michele has a love and admiration for pets that most can’t comprehend. It’s inspiring to watch her care for her fur babies, giving them the love and attention that they all deserve.
Sadly, this past Monday several pups have succumbed to their illnesses and passed over the Rainbow Bridge. Pierre 17yrs, Jack 16yrs, Chiquita 16yrs, Philippe 15yrs, Queenie 15yrs and Ralph 13yrs will be forever missed. I printed some images for Ron & Michele that I photographed a few months ago and found myself tearing up over their loss. Having the opportunity to photograph the pups over the years and spending time with them all, I have grown very close to them. Each pup has a different personality and responds differently when I am photographing them. Some have hearing loss and can’t hear my crazy puppy noises when I am taking photos of them. In these cases, it’s about being patient, waiting for the right moment and photographing the pups in a no stress environment.
It amazes me to watch how much care Ron & Michele give to each pup even in their passing moments. They personally hold each one saying their goodbyes with hugs and kisses. All of the Posh Palazzo Pups are members of the family in every way that matters, which makes losing them all the more devastating. The fact that we’re not supposed to value animals as much as humans doesn’t make the grief any less. If you’ve ever lost a beloved pet, you get that. Ron and Michele are saddened by the loss of their fur babies, each and every one. Hopefully they can take solace in the fact that they have enriched the pup’s lives, extending it beyond what most thought was not possible under the circumstances. They are very grateful for their Veterinarian, Dr. Joy Lucas, whose expertise, knowledge, advise, love and caring helped keep these pups healthy and able to live a long life all of these years.
Michele always honors her pets with a beautiful display memorial.
Even Emerald took the time to give her last respects to the Posh Palazzo Pups.
As the photographer, I will always cherish my time and memories that I spent with each one. Like Pierre, and his majestic fur coat, always looking like he was ready to go flying. Jack and his misunderstood personality always well behaved for me in front of my camera… he was an awesome model each year for the annual Christmas card shoot. Little Chiquita, looking at me with those big puppy eyes making those crazy noises over the years like I had a screw loose. Philippe the family acrobat, known for his many tricks that he could perform in his earlier years. Queenie, which was a perfect name for this pup because she was most comfortable sitting on fluffy plush pillows during the photo shoots each year. Ralph, who was very close to his brother Andy Panda, would always sit up high for me for each photo like a general taking his army into battle… even though he was the cutest little love bug. I will miss these pups but take joy in the fact that I had the opportunity to capture and create images of them over the years.
“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he
loves himself.” – Josh Billings
A great big thank you to all of the people and companies that contributed over the years
with their time and expertise in extending life for these Posh Palazzo Pups.
Dr. Joy Lucas, Veterinarian – Upstate Animal Medical Center
The Beastie Barber – Grooming
Wendy Volhard Diet Foundation – 200lbs of chicken and beef recipe every four weeks
Infinity Pet Services Inc – Memorial & Cremation Services
Rest easy my fur friends, you will be remmebered and always missed!