In 1955, Wolfschmidt Vodka introduced Baron and Lady Wolfschmidt, the company’s new Borzoi mascots. Their chaperone, seen here, is Catherine Dean, a Wolfschmidt secretary and former model.

For five years the trio crisscrossed the country on personal-appearance tours, logging 100,000 miles to promote Russia’s favorite beverage, a tough sell at the height of the Cold War. They starred in print ads and on TV, hobnobbing with the likes of Perry Como, Jackie Gleason, Steve Allen, and Ernie Kovacs.

By 1960, the campaign had run its course. The Baron and his Lady eased into comfortable retirement with Dean’s cousin and her family in High Point, N.C.

The arrival of America’s most famous boozehounds was big news in their adopted hometown. “The aristocratic Borzoi pair have beautiful manners,” reported the High Point Enterprise, “though they have been seen romping on the lawn of their new home on several occasions”.