DENVER (KDVR) — The journey to a new life for a once-stray beach dog in Saint Lucia — a country in the Caribbean — officially started back on April 1, when Coloradan Kara Plese was on vacation for her 50th birthday.

“My friend and I were on a trip in Saint Lucia. We were out on a walk. And there was this dog who was really skinny and very sad-looking,” Plese said.

She said they then saw the dog again during breakfast and she said, at that point, she knew she had to do something to help him.

“I saw him again, I thought he was dead — he was laying on a box. So I gave him some bacon and I cried,” Plese said. “I couldn’t stop thinking about the poor guy.”

So Plese and her friend wrapped the potcake — the term for an island dog in St. Lucia — in a towel and took him to a local vet on the island.

“He had mange and he was malnourished and dehydrated,” Plese said.

She said the vet agreed to hold the dog — now named Lucian — for a month while she figured out the logistics of getting him to the United States. But, during that time, she found a rescue on the island run by a Canadian woman.

She said the rescue is called the Bruno Project and the dog was held there until this Sunday.

“He’s really sweet. I hope we find him a home here, I think three dogs for me might be a bit much but we will see what happens,” Plese said.

Lucian will fly to Miami Sunday morning.

Plese said she will be meeting the dog in Miami on Monday before flying back to Colorado.

She said if the temperature in Miami stays below 85 degrees before their flight, they will both be able to fly. But she said if the temperature goes above that, she will rent a car and drive with the dog back to Colorado from Florida.

“I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I knew I couldn’t leave him there to die on the beach — poor little guy,” Plese said.

She said she’s going to let him decompress for a bit and then decide if he fits in with her pack or if he would be better with a different family in Colorado.

Plese started a GoFundMe to raise money for the vet bills and travel expenses.

She said she’s hoping to raise more to help donate back to the Bruno Project on the island to save more dogs.