D is for Dog. D is for Detroit. And in this story, D is for Davinci -- a furry hero that symbolizes our city's survival. His story begins with a howl.
"It was the first snowy day that year and what we found was a little dog giving birth," said Candilyn Lockhart.
The puppies were discovered behind a dumpster. The largest was a dog named Davinci. Michael and Candilyn Lockhart, former pro wrestling entertainers, nurtured him to health, then found he was nurturing them.
"I was diagnosed with MS and I also have Crones Disease and Endometriosis, so I am suffering from three auto immune disorders, which pretty much stopped my wrestling career," said Candilyn Lockhart. "I was a little displaced and I didn't know what we were going to do."
Davinci inspired the Candilynn's to use her photographic talents, shooting the photogenic pup to spread the word about abandoned pets in Detroit. She and Mike started the Hugs and Whispers website and formed the Davinci Fund to provide awareness, education and raise money.
"Lots of times it's not just spay and neutering, it is just that they can't afford it," said Michael Lockhart.
"He has always got a 'D' on too doesn't he?" asked Mitch Albom.
"He wears a cap, a hoodie and we have our little saying, 'I proudly where the symbol of my city across my heart because no matter where I am it will always be a part of me,'" said Candilyn Lockhart.
"Does he actually say that because if you do that you have a whole other show on your hands?" asked Mitch Albom.
In the big picture, DaVinci, through the fund, helps insure other dogs won't be abandoned as he was. In the smaller picture, saving DaVinci's life has helped Candilynn and Mike appreciate theirs.
"My family, my furry family members, I wake up every day proud to have them in my life," said Candilyn Lockhart.
D is for destiny, which brought DaVinci, Candilynn and Mike together, and helps inspire us to take better care of our four legged friends here in the heart of D-troit.