I've been puzzled for a long time by greyhounds on Norman Cornish's paintings - those subtle creatures don't represent the breed you can easily imagine as a pet of a hard-working man whose life is trapped between a pit and a pub.
Visiting an exhibition today I remembered my question and I was kindly given an answer - those dogs were actually more than pets providing additional income and entertainment by racing. If you skip to 6:00 in this video you can see what that looked like in 80s.
While this tradition didn't completely vanish, there's a lot of buzz about illegal dog fighting and banned breeds owned by working class people today. Racing is still questionable in terms of animal humanity, but it definitely was a better alternative.