updated 04/27/2012 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/27/2012 AT 5:00 PM ET
Ever since skateboarder Rob Dyrdek hit it big, so to speak, with his MTV series Rob & Big, life has been crazy. But there’s been one constant in his life: his dog, Meaty.
“He’s the only person who’s been with me through it all,” Dyrdek tells PEOPLE. “The one I can depend on every time I come home. Big old fat Meaty.”
The two are so entwined that when Dyrdek began developing his new show, an animated series for Nicktoons called Wild Grinders, he knew he had to include his beloved 6-year-old pooch.
“I loved the idea of having Meaty be Rob’s best friend and confidante on the show,” he says. “It’s blending my life now with my youth.”
Six years ago, when Dyrdek first found Meaty, he was shooting the pilot for Rob & Big and, by sheer coincidence, ended up with “the only dog in the world that wants and likes to skateboard: the male bulldog.”
Dyrdek spent weeks trying to teach Meaty – not a “gifted” skateboarder – how to ride. Though Meaty took to it eventually, he’s now retired.
“It’s like having a fat old man that is extremely lazy as a pet,” Dyrdek says. “He is quite possibly my grandfather Hackenburg reincarnated.”
Wild Grinders premieres Friday, April 27, at 7 p.m. ET on Nicktoons.