I had this flea flicking dog when I was a kid, but none of the other parts of the game. So I had no idea what he was actually for accept as a dog I could play with who happened to have a crank for a tale. Naturally I speculated on what the crank was for and I think my top guess was that it somehow made hair come out of the holes.
This made sense to me because my sisters were constantly cutting the hair off any toy that had hair. I thought poor ol’ Rufus was just another casualty of those clip happy gals.