2. Breathe heavily.
3. If your Human doesn't budge, check the clock. If it's after two a.m., you may continue. If it's before two a.m., go back to bed and try again later.
4. (Assuming it's after two a.m.) Wag tail.
5. Breathe heavily.
6. Stare hard at your sleeping Human. The intensity of your stare should wake your Human. If it doesn't, then
7. Jitter your jaw so that your teeth click together. This is best done at a distance of no more than 3.75 cm from your sleeping Human's nose.
8. Breathe heavily.
9. Wag. The velocity of air from the movement of your tail should approximate that of the wash of a small plane on takeoff.
10. Breathe heavily.
By now your sleeping Human should be awake and fumbling for her glasses. Express your happiness at her returning conciousness by doing a subdued tap-dance. Extra points if you step on an Evil Cat during the tap-dance.
Once your Human is vertical (or some approximation thereof), jitter your jaw again to express your delight. Then turn and galumph toward the door. Be certain to hump your back so that the tags on your harness jingle. This will allow your recently-sleeping Human to approximate your position by sound.
When you reach the door, stand with your head down and nose against it, breathing heavily and wagging your tail.
Human's note: I would've strangled him, but Max never wakes me up in the middle of the night or the early hours. Usually he sleeps right through my shower and only goes outside when I'm ready to leave, or after the sun comes up.
And aside from the jaw-jittering (which I think he learned from the greyhound; it's not a habit I've ever seen in another shepherd- or LSG-type dog), it's not a bad way to wake up. A pair of melting brown eyes and a shiny black nose and a grin is a helluva lot better than the way the greyhound used to greet me, which was by running at me full speed on his hind legs, front paws out velociraptor-style, mouth open, tongue flying out to the side.
The fact that he woke me early also meant that I was awake when work called, begging me to come in for the seventh shift in eight days. Had Max not gotten me up and out of bed, I would've been too tired to laugh hollowly at the person on the other end of the line.