On Christmas morning everone has a special treat

Dry hay straw
Salt blocks
Dried corn cobs
Dried oats and wheat berries
Dried clover
Suet Seeds
Preserved fruits and berries

My grandfathers, both farmers with ties to the land the natural world of critters, revered above all: family, their livelihoods and the animals that made everything possible.

I remember a Christmas when I first learned the extent to which this bond was revered. That Christmas day began like most days on a farm, first the animals ate and then the family would sit down to breakfast. But that Christmas morning was different; it began with a feast for all, man and animal, everyone ate well. New salt blocks were set out near clean, dry hay, food for the cattle, bedding for the rest with fresh well water, no easy task in Saskatchewan in December.
Various dried grains and fruits and berries gleaned from the preceding seasons stored just for the occasion were divided each according to their preference Chickens pecked over a field of scattered golden grains while the wild birds found suet balls covered with seed and the goose had extra corn. The pigs slopped with rich leavings and warmth, the horses snuffled in troughs of dry hay seasoned with oats and molasses while the cats and dogs licked their fill of cream from the dairy.
It was a wonderland of farm smells, new fallen snow and companionship that we woke to that Christmas morning, so richly filled with good will for all the creatures who shared the farm I hardly had room for my own meal..

Home Cooked dog food recipe

Note: Recipe will feed 4 to 5 large dogs (40 pounds and up) 1 meal, may be refrigerated up to two days in a sealed container.

5 lbs. Ground beef or chicken
3/4 cup Canola oil
2-3 8 oz bags of dry Kidney beans
4-5 cloves Garlic
1/2 cup Molasses
2 Gal water
42-45 ounces Quick cooking oats
8-10 Cups Cooked veggies: potato, carrot, spinach, tomato, red pepper, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, sweetpotato, beet etc.- NO onions (they are poisonous to dogs)

Soak dried kidney beans overnight, drain, rinse. Cover with cold water and set to boil 2-3 hours.
In a large pot, brown the ground meat, add the canola oil and garlic. When well done, add water; bring to a boil and add veggies.
Drain the beans and add to the meat mixture. Add oatmeal stirring frequently.
Serve at room temperature.