Susan Butcher and David Monson were married for twenty-one years. Together, they raised and trained the dogs of Trail Breaker Kennel and achieved many victories in major sled dog races around the world. Susan won the Iditarod four times and finished in the top ten fifteen times. Granite was her lead dog for many of these races. She took a dog team to the summit of Denali, the highest peak in North America—this feat has never been repeated. David won the Yukon Quest in 1988, and he and Susan ran the Iditarod together three times.
In August 2006, Susan died of leukemia. David lives in Fairbanks, Alaska, with their daughters, Tekla and Chisana. The three of them continue Susan’s legacy of raising and training sled dogs, many of which are descendants of Granite.