It is a sucky choice to have to make. No one should judge you on what you decide to do. It is just one of those things. Neither course is particularly easy.
Yes, I think it really is best to keep her until the puppies are 8 weeks old. She is such a puppy herself yet. I remember Arwen's first litter. She had seven puppies. When the first one went to its new home at eight weeks old, my sister and the new owner and I had been talking and such for about an hour or so, and then we finally decided to do this, and I put Arwen inside my bedroom in a crate and helped the new owner out to her car with her pup and the food and stuff. I came back in and went to let Arwen out. She made a bee-line to the box looked in there and then she started to cry. Then my sister started to cry. The next day when the second pup went home, Arwen wasn't too fussed about it.
I haven't quite figured that out. But I think that your pup has been through an awful lot, and the runt will need all the help he can. I think that separating her from her litter completely before they are eight weeks old is just one more thing in the poor dog's life.
Take this time to find just the right home for her if you want to go that route.
It is funny. Bitches are all different. Jenna will tolerate people coming in and looking at the puppies prior to 8 weeks old, but if I try to keep her totally away while they are looking at them, she gets a bit frantic. She will sail over 4' x-pens and scale fences to be there. As the puppies get older -- closer to 8 weeks, her intensity about the situation reduces considerably. This is why I generally don't let anyone come over until they are a minimum of three weeks old, and then I just put her on lead and keep her with me. Often we go and meet the people at their car together. The puppies will be in their play area, and Jenna will be present.
I would just give this pup the full eight weeks with her pups and then you can separate and even re-home her it will be less traumatic for her. Harder on your family, as I know you get attached.
Jenna, RN CGC & Babs, CD RA CGC HIC
Heidi, RA CGC
SG3 Odessa, SchH1, Kkl1, AD
Ninja, RN CGC & Milla, RN CGC
Joy, Star Puppy, RN CGC
Dolly CGC & Bear CGC