Raised by Dogs

There are several myths and legends about abandoned babies being raised by wolves. One of the most famous is the myth of Remus and Romulus. These twin brothers were raised by wolves and founded ancient Rome.


There’s no way to know if that story is true. But there are true stories about children being raised by animals.


Oxana Malaya was born in a small village in the Ukraine in 1983. Sadly, Oxana’s parents were alcoholics and did not take good care of her. Oxana says that her mother wanted a boy rather than a girl, so she threw Oxana out of the house to live with the dogs. Cold, scared, and lonely, Oxana came to depend on the dogs as her family and caregivers.


No one, not even her parents, came to look for Oxana. She stayed in the shed with the dogs. It was warm in the shed with the dogs. And they brought her scraps of food and raw meat. Oxana soon forgot how to speak human and began to behave like a dog.


Five years later, the neighbors finally noticed and told police. When the authorities came, they were shocked by what they found.


Eight-year-old Oxana walked on all fours. She couldn’t speak, but she barked, whined, and growled like dog. She ate and drank from dishes on the floor. She picked things up with her mouth rather than her hands. She even shook herself off like a dog when she got wet.


Authorities moved Oxana to an orphanage. There, she learned how to speak and behave like a human. But even though she was born normal and healthy, Oxana will always be a bit different.


These days, Oxana lives in a home for people with special needs where she takes care of cows. She loves working with other animals, too, like horses.


Oxana has a pet dog, but definitely prefers the company of people. She enjoys being the center of attention and making people laugh. She says her biggest dream in life is to meet her mother again one day.