Buy a book to benefit the SPCA

Bonilla Pet Photography is proud to announce that we have first edition, artist signed books available for purchase and the proceeds donated to the VASPCA.

This beautiful book includes portraits of all kinds of dogs having their hair blown around and looking fabulous. You’ve never seen dogs like this before! These artistic portraits are sure to be a hit with your friends and family.

From The VASPCA website:

It is the mission of the Virginia Beach Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (VBSPCA) to create a more humane and responsible community by eliminating animal suffering while increasing human compassion.

Please consider purchasing this book for yourself or as a gift for the animal lover in your life!


Does your dog ever start running around the house like a crazy creature, for absolutely no reason at all? Say hello to the zoomies.

Wait…the what??

The term “zoomies” is used to describe the quick, random bursts of energy that many dogs seem to experience. To get technical, these episodes of high energy are called “Frenetic Random Activity Periods” and they are usually just your dog releasing pent-up energy. More often than not, these episodes seem to come out of nowhere, but they can be brought on by excitement. If your dog sees someone they know, or maybe just had a really good poop, they can then suddenly get the zoomies!

Speaking from experience, depending on the size of your dog, the zoomies are potentially dangerous for innocent bystanders. My neighbor has both a Golden Retriever and a sprained ankle. She had the misfortune of stepping into her dogs path during a post-poop zoomie, and was knocked right over into her pool.

Most cases of the zoomies only last a couple of minutes, and they are very entertaining to watch, but be warned - many dogs seem incapable of hearing their owners and following commands while racing around. Zoomies seem to put dogs into their own little worlds.

So the next time your dog has got a case of the zoomies, just make sure you stay out of their way and wait it out. The zoomies are a natural part of being a dog, so sit back, relax, and (most importantly) enjoy the show.

Meghan, Bonilla Pet Photography

The Purrrrrfect Gifts for Animal Lovers

The holidays are among us! If you still need to find some last-minute gifts for the animal lovers in your life, look no further: I’m here to help.

  1. I Work Hard So My Dogs Can Have a Better Life” T-Shirt:

  2. I Work Hard So My Cats Can Have a Better Life” T-Shirt:

  3. Paw Print Heart Dish:

  4. Rescued is My Favorite Breed" Keychain:

  5. Be Kind to Every Kind” Wall Art:

  6. It’s Basically a Zoo in Here” Doormat:

  7. DJ Cat Scratching Pad:

  8. A Bonilla Pet Photography Gift Certificate!

    Check out our Facebook for more details:

Happy shopping & Holidays, everybody!

Meghan, for Bonilla Pet Photography

Shiba Inus: The Ups, the Downs, and Everything in Between!

Everything you need to know, from the human of an especially peculiar Shiba Inu.

Shiba Inus are already a favorite breed in their home country of Japan, but they’ve been gaining popularity in the United Sates since their introduction to the country about 60 years ago. The first documented Shiba to enter the United States was imported by a military family in 1954!

The Ups

  1. They are the cats of the dog world:

    If you’re looking for an independent dog, then a Shiba is the breed for you! Shiba Inus spend a large amount of time grooming themselves, and even licking their paws like cats. This innate cleanliness makes them pretty easy to potty train. Shiba’s are just as aloof as cats, and aren’t in the business of seeking out human affection. Personally, my family has a Shiba Inu named Miya who’s been known to get up and walk away when she’s decided she’s been pet enough.

  2. They are better than an alarm system:

    Shiba Inus are not generally noisy dogs. However, should your Shiba notice someone strange walk past (or even worse, up to) your house, they’re going to make sure you know about it. Shiba Inus are also equipped with very impressive memories. To demonstrate how these two characteristics tie into one another, I’ll tell you a little about my Shiba and the exterminator. My family as both a Shiba Inu, and an exterminator. The exterminator comes to our home once a month, and somehow, Miya has learned that she can expect to see him the second Wednesday of each month. I have no idea how she does it, but from the morning before he shows up, until the afternoon when he leaves, she’s barking and guarding her home and her humans.

The Downs

  1. That whole yelling thing:

    Shiba Inus are the drama-queens of the dog world. If they are unhappy about something, they’re going to let you know about it, and they just might do that through the infamous “Shiba-Scream.” Yes, scream. This particular vocal styling sounds a lot like a wailing human; it is high pitched, and powerful. The most common cause for this kind of reaction would be a source of stress. My family was blissfully unaware of this trait until we gave Miya her very first bath. This was the bath heard ‘round the neighborhood. Needless to say, we just take her to the groomer now!

  2. They are escape geniuses:

    Remember how I said Shiba Inus are the cats of the dog world? Well, just like cats, if your Shiba can fit its head through a space, they are going to try their absolute hardest to squeeze their bodies through. When my Miya was a puppy, she got out through the fence surrounding our patio. Once she was loose, she was gone. It took a while to find her in the neighborhood, but luckily we found her. She wasn’t allowed back onto the patio until she got a little bigger, and even then, we once found her with her head stuck in the fence.

Everything in Between!

  1. They are beautiful little creatures:

    You will be stopped and complimented on your dog. Shiba Inu’s have very foxlike features, and are often (in my own experience) mistaken for baby Huskies. Miya is twelve now, and still, every time someone new crosses paths with her, she gets told how pretty she is. Since she thinks she’s Dog Royalty and her ego couldn’t possibly get any bigger, she tends to brush off these comments, but I always like them.

  2. They have GIANT personalities:

    While their bodies may be small, a Shiba Inu is packed full of personality. To really mesh well with a Shiba, you have to have a sense of humor. They’re stubborn, and they get bored easily, so you can imagine they’ll find ways to entertain themselves! (Hopefully in a way that also entertains you.) Miya has adopted this new habit of going into our pantry and sticking her head into the treat bag, until she’s had what she feels to be a sufficient amount. She also will not let us leave the house without giving her a biscuit first. You’d be surprised how demanding a 25lb dog can be.

Thanks for reading, hopefully you’ve learned something about Japan’s favorite dog! (On top of learning that my Shiba Inu is spoiled rotten.) See you next time!

Meghan Croce, for Bonilla Pet Photography

See us at the Bodacious Bazaar!

The amazing Bodacious Bazaar is taking place in Hampton next weekend! I have heard it is a fantastic show! The vendors who attend have unique and high quality products. I hope I get some time to walk to the show and spend some Christmas money!

I will have my booth at the show as well! And new for this show, we will have gift certificates you can purchase at a discount. For example we will have a $500 gift certificate you can purchase for only $299!!

I will also have a sign up for a free sitting!! So come out and see us. This is a great opportunity to purchase a pet portrait for yourself or as a gift for a loved one!

Find the show details below:

3 Day Shopping Extravaganza
November 9, 10 & 11, 2018

Facebook Event:


Santa is coming to Bonilla Pet Photography!!!! Get your Christmas Cards!!

October 20th 9:00 am-7:00 pm

3552 Collins Blvd. Suite A
Chesapeake, VA 23321

Bring your fur babies in to get a beautiful portrait made with Santa in his workshop!!

The cost is $145 and for that, you get:
An exclusive time with Santa to create your Christmas Card image
25 glossy 5x7 Christmas cards
Maximum of 4 pets/people
The social media file for sharing with your friends!
Additional cards available for $65 for 25.

Reserve your spot today, they won't be available for long!

*all sales are final* *The above image is a stock image and not our Santa*

Reserve Your Time Slot HERE


Pets Help Mental and Physical Health!

Pets Help Mental and Physical Health!

By: Sarrah Isenhour

Most of us have seen the dogs on duty with service vests at the supermarket as we quickly educate our human children why they cannot go up and pet the “pretty puppy.” These dogs help people with a wide array of challenges from blindness to anxiety, but your pet does not need to be a trained service animal to have health benefits for you and your family. In fact, even the scruffiest-looking doggo or sassiest cat adopted from a local shelter can have enormous health benefits to all the humans in your home.

They Lower Blood Pressure

Let’s get to the heart of the matter and discuss how amazing pets are for your cardiovascular health. First off, dog owners are more likely to get activity playing or walking their canine buddies promoting heart healthy activity levels. Furthermore, dogs, cats, and just about any pet will lower your blood pressure by lowering your stress levels.

Pets Improve Mental Health

Better yet, pets have been found to help fight depression, improve self-esteem, and battle loneliness! These benefits are not limited to service pets either. In fact, Mr. Mittens, or your Naked Guinea Pig can improve your mental health without any specialized training at all! Their love, silly antics, and companionship do the trick!

They Improve Human Relationships

Going beyond a cute puppy being a “chick-magnet”, pets have shown to improve relationships humans have with other humans. Pet owners tend to be nicer and are even considered to be more attractive to other pet owners. Furthermore, those in relationships with pets benefit from lowered stress levels causing increased patience and overall happiness with their human relationships.

Pets are amazing creatures that find their way into our hearts. They provide us with unconditional love (yes, even that disdainful kitty loves you deep down!), and a lifetime of memories. The value people place on their pets is absolutely founded when we consider all of the numerous benefits these creatures have on our lives.

Sarrah Isenhour is the Assistant Director of Marketing and Sales at Bonilla Pet Photography. She loves her four finicky feline fur babies and one precocious pooch. Celebrating the bond pet parents have with their pets is her passion, and she actively works with other pet parents to capture their bonds through arranging pet portraits.


The Loss of a Beloved Pet

By: Sarrah Isenhour

Whether expected or unexpected, the loss of a beloved pet is devastating. In fact, devastating does not even touch the amount of emotion and grief following up the loss. These wonderful creatures are more than just some animal, they’re family. If you need validation that your grief is warranted, it’s right here. Consider yourself validated. Now, it is time to cope. 

Grief is very normal and even the Mayo Clinic advises you to allow yourself to mourn when facing the loss of a family member. It may seem like isolating yourself is the thing to do, but don’t get caught in that trap. Instead, surround yourself with supportive people—and if you have other pets, lavish them with extra love because they are feeling the loss too in their own special ways. Lastly, be sure to take care of yourself during this time. Eat, do something nice for yourself, and get some exercise in.

Our pets are only with us for a short while, and losing them is the equivalent of losing a part of ourselves from all the energy mutually invested in the relationship. It’s okay to be lost for a little while, but your pet wouldn’t want you to grieve forever. Instead, they would want you to live the fullest life you can. After all, isn’t that what you tried to give them?


Sarrah Isenhour is the Assistant Director of Marketing and Sales at Bonilla Pet Photography. She loves her four finicky feline fur babies and one precocious pooch. Celebrating the bond pet parents have with their pets is her passion, and she actively works with other pet parents to capture their bonds through arranging pet portraits.

The Memorial Wall in our studio where we have portraits of every pet who has crossed the rainbow bridge since we made their portrait. 

The Memorial Wall in our studio where we have portraits of every pet who has crossed the rainbow bridge since we made their portrait. 

To Declaw or Not to Declaw

By: Sarrah Isenhour

As the parent to a fur baby you have a huge responsibility. Let’s face it: Mr. Mittens has not mastered the art of human language, and it is up to you to determine what is in your feline’s best interest. Knowing this, many parents of purring bundles of joy (or adorable disdain) will ask themselves whether or not to declaw their fish-loving feline friend. 

Declawing your cat involves a serious surgery and is more than just removing a claw. The surgery removes the entire toe bone and claw. Imagine if you got a surgery to remove the last knuckle in each of your fingertips—yep, that’s what a declawed cat will experience. If you just cringed, you’re not alone. The most difficult part continues after the declawing procedure where your mewling fur baby has an increased chance of arthritis, behavioral issues, litter box challenges, and post-surgical infection. 

 When making care decisions for your fuzzy (or hairless) purr box, be sure to talk to your vet and get all the facts. Declawing your cat is almost always optional, and your super-busy vet may not go over every detail with you unless you ask further questions. Before making this decision for your feline fur baby, make sure you have all the facts because once those claws are gone, there is no turning back for Mr. Mittens. 


Sarrah Isenhour is the Assistant Director of Marketing and Sales at Bonilla Pet Photography. She loves her four finicky feline fur babies and one precocious pooch. Animal advocacy is her passion as is celebrating the bond people have with their pets.

Above: Amy with her beautiful cat Mighty Mouse  Below: Some recent cat portraits! Call now to find out about having a portrait made of your cat! (757) 912-5862. Mention this blog to get $50 off.

Above: Amy with her beautiful cat Mighty Mouse

Below: Some recent cat portraits! Call now to find out about having a portrait made of your cat! (757) 912-5862. Mention this blog to get $50 off.

Las Gaviotas Pet Hotel

las gaviotas.jpg

Have you had to leave home for an extended period of time? Maybe you had a sudden family emergency come up or you're finally able to go on that dream vacation you so deserve? We've all been there and generally, when it happens we all get stumped by the question "Who will watch my pets?" Las Gaviotas Pet Hotel is a clean, friendly, and comfortable pet boarding facility with more than two decades of experience! Their pet kennel has been deemed one of the best by both veterinarians and clientele. Las Gaviotas Pet Hotel ensures to provide each furry family member with individualized love and attention multiple times a day while also featuring a facility that is sanitized and has both air conditioning and heat. The facilities are also pest-controlled and have state of the art security and fire protection. While your pet is staying with them they are able to participate in lots of fun activities such as strolling through the park, going treasure hunting, or enjoying a slumber party! With affordable boarding rates, Las Gaviotas is considered one of the best boarding facilities in Hampton Roads. If you are interested or need to have your pet boarded be sure to check out Las Gaviotas Pet Hotel!



By Jessica Luther

Bonilla Pet Photography