When children go out of line, people constantly criticize the parents, thinking dogs must have raised the kids. Considering certain historical cases, this comparison may be more apt than they realize.

Naturally, kids are wild. They have tons of energy and curiosity as their brains develop and learn about the world around them. The earliest impressions can make life-changing and formative decisions for them early on.

When a kid is raised very hands-off, they may just become a little wilder than one whose very structured and rigid life. Then, there are children raised by dogs.

Oxana Malaya is one such person. She was a child so neglected by her parents that it became the responsibility of dogs to raise her- which they did. For the first seven years of her life, she did not grow up as a human child.

After being placed in remedial facilities and extreme social care for the next decade, she overcame that past and regained her lost humanity.

But those years left impacts that continue to affect her now, even after so many advancements have been made, and may continue to affect her for the rest of her life.


10 /10 Family Failure

Oxana Oleksandrivna Malaya was born in November of 1983 in a rural village in Soviet Ukraine. She was born healthy and normal, but to an unfortunately abnormal home.

Her mother left or was driven out of the house very early in her life, so Oxana had only her alcoholic father to raise her.

He abandoned her and stopped caring for her entirely, which led her to the only creatures that did show an interest in her: the dogs.

9 /10 Social Intervention

Oxana remained in the care of dogs until she was seven and a half. After nearly five years without human contact, social service workers were shocked to see her behaving exactly like a dog.

She was taken and put into a foster home for mentally disabled children. She had to undergo specialized education to reintegrate into society and her human mind.


8 /10 Feral Symptoms

Oxana was raised poorly as a human but did quite well as a dog. The dogs integrated her into their pack without issue. She could run on all fours, sleep on the floor, shake off water from her hair, and bark and howl precisely as a dog could.

She was not mentally sound and couldn’t talk, but was also not found to be physically unwell. The mental under-development did spell out a long and troubled road for her.

7 /10 Early Upset

Experts agree that the most critical years for the formation and understanding of the language for a child is before they turn five years old.

Early exposure and some occasionally talking when she was an infant or toddler may have stuck in her mind, but the more thorough development of human language was cut off from her.

Some experts who treated her believed she might never learn to talk, and fortunately, she did.


6 /10 Raised By Humans

Oxana’s reintegration occurred at an orphanage school in the foster care system. She was taught to speak, walk upright, eat correctly, and human communication.

One thing she never mastered was intonation, altering tone to express emotion. But she did learn to speak and comprehend her native language. The effects of her abandonment were still present even into her 30s.


5 /10 Non-Developmental

She is being estranged from humanity that early and left Oxana in a problematic place mentally for so long.

Despite having no known mental disabilities, she has failed to develop past the point of a six-year-old internally.

She shows basic understanding and comprehension of logic and factual analysis, but more fantastic ideas and insights still evade her. Her mind and body were fully dedicated to becoming like a dog early on as a means of survival.

4 /10 On The Farm

Oxana went through her period of mental reconditioning and was able to graduate from her initial system as a reintegrated human.

But, she was not deemed safe to return to society. She still had some panic-related tendencies that kept her from everyday, nominal communication with others.

She was given a job on a farm taking care of animals, milking cows, and, in particular, spending time with dogs which she was very comfortable with.


3 /10 Puppy Love

Oxana has grown into a functional, if troubled, woman. But she still lags in many aspects.

She had a boyfriend for a period, but he decided to cut things short when he observed her dog-like mannerisms and how strikingly accurate they were.

Oxana has been interviewed many times. Experts in feral children and human psychology have remarked that it is incredible what progress she was able to make from such a traumatic beginning.


2 /10 Reunion

Oxana was interviewed many times in her adult life, including once for a TV documentary and talk show where she insisted on not being called a “dog girl,” as she had grown beyond that period of her life.

During this interview, her father was found and reunited with her, and she held no hatred for him and invited him to watch her as she milked the cows responsible. One of her goals in life is to find her biological mother someday.


1 /10 It Takes A Village

Oxana’s story is one of the most modern examples of a feral child, which occurred in a period and a country with reasonably updated modern technology.

Many feral children come about in much more distant places. However, Oxana coming from Ukraine, shows that the issue and solution of children being abandoned can still happen right now in places we don’t pay enough attention to.

Her recovery also indicates that, no matter how far gone a child is, they need time and care to return to their human roots.

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